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Health and Human Services brings innovative approach to solving health care challenges

Posted Jun 22 2012 1:01am

Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Bill Corr today announced that the department is exploring new ways of bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to solving the nation’s health and health care challenges. The new HHS Innovation Fellows Program aims to bring fresh, innovative ideas and expertise from outside the agency to help HHS accelerate health and health care innovation. 

The Innovation Fellows Program enables agencies to bring on board some of the brightest external experts and entrepreneurs to work with host innovators at HHS in taking on the department’s toughest challenges.  Fellows will be highly talented professionals from non-federal backgrounds such as business, industry, and academia who seek to bring successful innovation experiences, models, and business practices to HHS.  The application period for external fellows is June 20-July 20, 2012. 

“Through this new approach, HHS is drawing on talent, experiences, and skills from startups and businesses across the country to help lead the way to better health, better care and lower costs for Americans,” Deputy Secretary Corr said. “We are seeking people who have a passion for solving pressing issues in heath care though game-changing solutions.” 

In the first round of the program, HHS is looking to place five to 10 external innovation fellows to the following projects, starting in the fall of 2012: 

  • Accelerating clinical quality measures for the Affordable Care Act: The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), would like to develop new clinical quality measures that incorporate information available in electronic health records to monitor the impact of the implementation of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Affordable Care Act. 
  • Designing the infrastructure for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility: CMS would like to develop an electronic infrastructure that states can integrate to implement the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) method for determining eligibility for Medicaid and the CHIP eligibility that is required under the Affordable Care Act. 
  • Building health resilience technology to withstand natural disasters: The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of HHS and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Department of Homeland Security would like to develop innovative solutions that will allow individuals with access and functional needs to continue to use their durable medical equipment (DME) during prolonged power outages. DME includes medical devices powered by electricity, such as oxygen concentrators, ventilators, and intravenous infusion pumps.  
  • Devising electronic tracking and transport of the nation’s organ transplant system: The Health Resources and Services Administration would like to revise the existing organ transplantation system to improve identification, labeling, packaging, and transport of the nation’s organs for transplantation, and include electronic components for identifying organs and tracking their movement, to minimize the potential for misdirection or other delays in organ transportation and reduce the chance of incorrect transplantation. 

For more information, visit  

To apply to be an external innovation fellow, visit

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