The Ventura County Health Care Agency is slated to receive $4.1 million in federal funding to study treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, one of the most common lung conditions in the U.S.
The county’s health-care agency will use the funds to study how to improve management of the condition and how to reduce emergency-room visits, inpatient days and overuse of primary-care providers among those who suffer from the chronic disease.
The funds, made available through the Affordable Care Act, are part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Care Innovation Awards. If they win final approval, five recipients in California could receive as much as $50.2 million to test models for more efficient health-care delivery.
“The Health Care Innovation Awards support our ongoing work to drive down health care costs while providing high-quality care to [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid] beneficiaries,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement. “These awards advance innovative solutions in delivering and improving care from all across our nation.”
Nationwide, 39 prospective recipients in 27 states and the District of Columbia are slated to receive as much as $360 million to test health-care delivery models. Other proposed projects include initiatives to promote better care for people living with HIV/AIDS, to reduce unnecessary emergency-room visits, to improve pediatric dental care and to improve health care coordination in rural areas of the country, HHS said.
In 2012, more than 100 organizations in the U.S. received awards through round No. 1 of the initiative. Projects in the second round, through which the Ventura County Health Care Agency received its award, are designed to seek ways to reduce costs for patients in outpatient hospital and post-acute settings, improve care for populations with specialized needs, test improved financial and clinical models for specific types of providers, and link clinical-care delivery to preventive and population health.