Friday, January 27, 2012

Will Prize Incentives Be Enough to Improve Healthcare?

As part of an attempt to bring about improvement and innovation in healthcare, Health and Human Services has launched the aptly-named Investing in Innovation (I2) Initiative. The core of the initiative is a series of challenges that ask software developers to solve a standing problem in the health industry.

The first challenge, which concluded in December of 2011, sought to solve the sometimes rocky transition from hospital to home. The challenge requirements were extensive, but nevertheless, it was tackled by a large number of developers. The winning solution, Axial Transition Suite, serves as an interface between patients and caregivers, allowing both parties to easily communicate and monitor the post-treatment process.

HHS’s second challenge was announced at this week’s Care Innovations Summit. This time, developers are tasked with providing a solution to the tricky process of scheduling post-release follow up appointments. This is an important part of the treatment process that many at HHS feel is too often ignored.

Without question, this is one of the most ambitious moves by HHS in some time, and the introduction of consumer-focused challenges is sure to raise awareness about some of these problems. So far, the initiative has had a solid response, but winning solutions have yet to be implemented.

Tell us in the comments below, if you feel that the I2 Initiative has the potential to answer any of healthcare’s biggest problems. Have you participated in any of the challenges? We’d also love to hear about your experience and solutions!


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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