HHS Seeks Innovative Solutions

The “HHSentrepreneurs” program (www.hhs.gov/open/initiatives/entrepreneurs/index.html) is based on the HHS Innovation Fellows Program launched in 2012. HHS is building on the lessons learned during the program and seeks to have internal entrepreneurs along with external entrepreneurs work together to tackle some of the Department’s toughest challenges.

Internal entrepreneurs at HHS are working on solutions to deal with complex challenges. The goal is to enable internal entrepreneurs to have the flexibility to take professional risks and to establish innovations as a key business process. The deadline for internal entrepreneurs to apply for the program is April 1, 2013.

At the same time, HHS is looking for external entrepreneurs to submit applications that have a demonstrated track record developing innovative solutions. After being selected, the external entrepreneurs will be paired with internal entrepreneurs to work together on difficult problems at HHS.  The application period for external entrepreneurs will open in May 2013.

Last year HHS selected thirteen internal entrepreneurs and five external entrepreneurs to work on high priority projects. These projects included accelerating clinical quality measures, designing the infrastructure for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, building health resilience technology to withstand natural disasters, and to help HRSA revise the existing organ transplant system and make it more workable.

After reviewing the applications received, a short list of candidates will be established, and selected candidates will be invited to an interview with the “HHSentrepreneurs” Subcommittee of the HHS Innovation Council. They will also be interviewed by internal entrepreneur project teams. Final selection of external entrepreneurs will take place August 2013.

In the March 7th Federal Register, HHS announced that CMS and ONC were issuing a Request for Information (RFI) on achieving HIT interoperability in 2013.  The RFI due April 22, 2013 has been issued seeking comments from the public on a variety of policies to strengthen the business case for electronic exchange across providers.

The RFI discusses the need for HHS to develop several potential new policies and ideas to accelerate interoperability and to improve the exchange of a patient’s health information across care settings. The plan is to provide an even greater business case for information sharing.

Go to www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05266_PI.pdf  or go to the March 7th issue of the Federal Register for more details.

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