Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative
Support and Alignment Networks 2.0
Updated September 2016
Americans deserve a health care system that delivers the right care, at the right time, and at a cost that is reasonable and easy to understand. Such a system will result in fewer unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions, fewer healthcare-associated infections, reduced patient harm, and will show continuous improvement in quality of care and cost efficiency.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced the recipients of the second round of the Support and Alignment Networks under the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI). This opportunity will provide up to $5 million to two awardees over the next three years to leverage primary and specialist care transformation work and learning that will catalyze the adoption of Alternative Payment Models on a large scale. The Support and Alignment Networks 2.0 represents a significant enhancement to the TCPI network expertise and will help clinicians prepare for the proposed new Quality Payment Program, which CMS is implementing as part of bipartisan legislation Congress passed last year repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate, also known as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
The TCPI is one of the largest federal investments uniquely designed to support clinician practices through collaborative peer-based learning networks. TCPI Practice Transformation Networks and Support and Alignment Networks were awarded in September 2015 to provide this infrastructure. By implementing accelerated practice transformation strategies, Support and Alignment Network 2.0 awardees will spread transformation knowledge to participating clinicians to achieve the TCPI goals:
- Improving the quality of care delivered;
- Rapidly transitioning practices through the phases of transformation in preparation for participation in and alignment with Alternative Payment Models; and
- Reducing total cost of care.
Summary Through this initiative, the Support and Alignment Network 2.0 awardees will identify, enroll, and provide tailored technical assistance to advanced clinician practices in order to accelerate transformation and diffuse this learning throughout the TCPI initiative. Support and Alignment Network 2.0 awardees’ activities, coaching, and technical assistance should result in the rapid transition of practices through five phases of transformation:
- Set Aims
- Use Data to Drive Care
- Achieve Progress on Aims
- Achieve Benchmark Status
- Thrive as a Business via Pay-for-Value Approaches
This will ultimately position practices to successfully participate in Alternative Payment Models. Critical to this approach is the capacity for these awardees to accurately identify large numbers of clinicians and practices in advanced states of readiness through sound data analytics capabilities, to enroll them into the Support and Alignment 2.0 network, to provide them with tailored technical assistance, and to help them determine the most suitable Alternative Payment Model options. Further, awardees will need to tailor direct technical assistance and support services to these clinicians’ and practices’ needs.
To participate in the model, awardees committed to the following criteria:
- Provide quality improvement support to 5,000 or more clinicians
- Provide support to a learning network that is multi-regional or national in scope
- Collaborate in generating evidence-based guidelines for clinical practice
- Effective use of measurement through clinical registries and electronic health records
- Commitment to improve safety and person and family engagement
Based on the eligibility requirements, objective review, and the applicant’s commitment to rapid transformation in the model, two awardees were selected. Below are the Support and Alignment Networks 2.0 awardees and the amount they are receiving in the first year of the award:
- Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative (VCQI) -- $670,673.00
- American Psychological Association -- $723,600.00
The period of performance for the Support and Alignment Networks 2.0 is September 2016 through September 2019. The period of performance includes three 12-month budget periods. Support and Alignment Networks must achieve reasonable progress to the aims of the initiative as supported by their own proposed specific targets and milestones. Continued funding is contingent on adequate progress, compliance with the terms and conditions of the previous budget period, and the availability of funds.
For more information on the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative, please visit: https://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Transforming-Clinical-Practices/.