Ketchikan Medical Center Receives Innovation Grant

6/25/2012

​PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center (PHKMC) has been awarded a three-year $3.1 million Health Care Innovation Challenge Grant from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to assist in advancing our patient care coordination to improve health maintenance and chronic disease outcomes for our patients in southern Southeast Alaska. Out of approximately 3,000 applications, 107 awards were granted nation-wide. PHKMC was the only grant awardee in Alaska. The program will initially focus on high-risk patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure and other preventative conditions. A key component of the grant project will be to create a Medical Office Assistant (MOA) education program ensuring that this critical workforce is available both today and into the future for our patients.

This grant is the largest single grant received by PHKMC and will increase access by putting in place a  model of care that will reduce the barriers that keep our patients from achieving optimum health outcomes,” says Pat Branco, PHKMC CEO.

The Health Care Innovation Challenge Grant Program’s focus is to fund new models of service delivery and payment improvements that hold the promise of delivering the three-part aim of better health, better health care, and lower costs through improved quality for Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees. Successful applicants were required to have models that could be rapidly developed or deployed, demonstrate impact within 6 months, and result in savings to Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP within two to three years.

The grant project is planned to span three years. Grant funding in Year 1 will be $1,056,660. Depending on CMS’s availability of funds in the HC Innovation Grant Challenge program, PHKMC would receive another $1 million in Year 2 and again in Year 3 for this project.

This is a huge benefit for our community and PHKMC,” Michele Budd, VP of Ambulatory Care Services and executive in charge of the program. “Health improvement is one of the key initiatives that we are pursuing and with this grant funding we will be able to advance the program and deliver the services in a more timely and comprehensive manner.”

The grant will fund key clinical and support positions, including care coordinator positions in the PeaceHealth Medical Group primary care clinics in Ketchikan and on POW Island. This will significantly boost the transition and transformation of care delivered in the region, shifting from a traditional hospital or acute care delivery system to one that focuses on prevention, early risk identification, care coordination and disease management.

"We are indeed fortunate to have received this significant grant which will allow us to pursue innovative approaches to delivering health care in our community,” notes CFO Ken Tonjes adding, “I am so proud of our team which worked tirelessly in the pursuit of this award.”