The One Billion Dollar Innovation Reward

A new program called the  Health Care Innovation Challenge is being  offered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid and will award up to $1 billion in grants for efforts to improve care and lower costs for patients with public coverage.   This could go to physicians and other health professionals, payers, local governments, community-based organizations.  This money is coming from the health system reform law that was passed.   I guess they found some leprechaun’s bucket of gold because there just seems to be a never-ending amount of money the Obama administration keeps drawing from.   Oh, wait a minute, those are my taxes.   Anyway, the program really has no hard guidelines that I can tell and they have even said, “If your idea works, come to us. We’ll support that idea.”  Okay so here is our chance.  What do you think should be done to “improve care and lower costs for patients on public coverage”?

My thoughts so far:

  1. Define “improve”.  This is not so easy.  Quality metrics are bogus.
  2. Pay more to PCPs so that there are more around to even see patients.
  3. Fire 80% of all administrators in the healthcare system
  4. Decrease the ridiculous laws and mandates that make it necessary to hire the idiots  in #3.
  5. Pay more for Medicaid visits.   More doctors will see Medicaid patients which will lower ER visits, hospitalizations, and total cost in the long run.

What else do you have?



Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “The One Billion Dollar Innovation Reward

  1. pat nagle
    December 14, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Once again, your politics are showing. This program is not the unique invention of the “Obama administration”. It’s part of the omnibus law passed by CONGRESS, after the GOP refused to surrender partisan goals to the public’s needs. Sure, Obama signed it, but what other choice did he have, if the nation is ever to start caring about the public’s health? Obama has his faults, but he didn’t invent this do-nothing GOP Congress.

  2. Griff
    December 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Tort reform. If awards are capitated, lawyers will not be able to afford their second house by leeching off of medical mistakes. Fewer lawyers, fewer defensive tests….

Comments are closed.