CMMI Round 2 Grant Announcement

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center (CMMI) today announced 12 organizations as prospective recipients of round 2 innovation grants; other projects will be announced later this Summer.

I am thrilled to be working on one of the 12 projects identified today.


Project Title: “Increasing patient and system value with community based palliative care”
Geographic Reach: North Carolina
Estimated Funding Amount: $9,596,123


The Four Seasons Compassion for Life project will test a new model for community-based palliative care (in conjunction with Duke University), which spans inpatient and outpatient settings. The model features interdisciplinary collaboration and the integration of palliative care into the health care system, continuity of care across transitions, and longitudinal, individualized support for patients and families. This expands upon a successful program in four Western North Carolina counties to include an additional ten counties.  With community-based palliative care, care coordination ensures clinical follow-up of patients as they transition across settings. Standardized assessments and data infrastructure facilitate quality monitoring/improvement and high-quality patient care leading to decreased hospital readmissions.

I am the lead investigator of the Duke project team. We will work to measure both the quality and financial outcomes of the project, and develop new financing models for how the Medicare program pays for the care of beneficiaries with advanced, life limiting illness. This project is a dream come true for me: joining high quality data and research techniques with a funding mechanism that insists on policy translation/impact as the ultimate outcome. I cannot wait to get started.

The collaborative nature of this project is also a model, both within Duke and between Duke and Four Seasons. The Duke team joins the Sanford School of Public Policy with the Duke Center for Learning Health Care (CLHC), part of the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), lead by Amy Abernethy, who is the past president of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and an incredible colleague. The proposal was very complex, and Matthew Harker at CLHC melds business savvy, organizational and grantsmanship skills with an abiding interest in caring for people who are extremely ill, and we would not have pulled it off without him working so well with Chris Comeaux, CEO/President of Four Seasons and the rest of their team.

The seeds of this project were planted a decade ago, when Janet Bull, medical director of Four Seasons and Amy Abernethy began a unique academic-business partnership that has resulted in many projects and a model interaction between a community based hospice and palliative care provider and an academic medical center and university.

I am very fortunate to be part of such a team.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy at Duke University (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute). I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy, and currently serve as Chair of Duke's University Priorities Committee (UPC). My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

One Response to CMMI Round 2 Grant Announcement

  1. Pingback: Is 2015 (Finally) the Year of Palliative Care? - the kb group

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