With the deadline to submit applications for the Accountable Health Communities (AHC) model just over a month away, Healthify is examining the needs of the various tracks in the CMS AHC model. This is a follow-up to our article on "Build Versus Buy." In that previous post we examined how building versus buying software played out within the context of the AHC model.
What do we know about the AHC? Health and Human Services has devoted $157 million to be divided by three different tracks: Track 1 - Awareness ($1 million) ; Track 2 - Assistance ($2.57 million); and Track 3 - Alignment ($4.51 million). Each track is designed to examine a piece of the emerging evidence that coordination between health care providers and community agencies can improve health outcomes and reduce care costs by focusing on social determinants of health. Only 44 grants will be awarded to applicants to serve as AHC bridge communities. Over the next few days, Healthify will be publishing articles looking in great detail at the approach of each track.
Deadlines to submit for the five-year grant are due May 18, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Applicants will be notifed of award March 3, 2017 and the performance period begins April 1, 2017. From notification of award to start of performance is a very short time frame, which means a lot of preparation needs to be done before the launch date. The customization of an in-house solution will require months of work and expenses that might not be recovered by the 15% budget cap on technology spending. The adoption of dedicated social determinants software provided by a third-party vendor will allow awardees to implement software only upon being awarded the grant or to scale the solution to fit different institutional needs and priorities if an award is not granted.
Healthify will work with any prospective bridge organization provided that their is no conflict of interest with an existing client's application to provide required information on our solution for grant-writing purposes. We will schedule a demo wherein we will discuss the track that your organization is interested in pursuing (please note that most interest has been directed at Track 2 and Track 3) and will give a rundown of our services and how we can help reach the milestones and deliverables detailed in each track. We will then begin to work with your team on preparing for the grant and gearing your organization up for a successful implementation of a social needs strategy.