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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Pitt’s Resnick, Pringle Among First Class of CMS Innovation Advisors

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 24, 2012 – Neil Resnick, M.D., chief, Division of Geriatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Janice L. Pringle, Ph.D., research associate professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, have been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its inaugural group of Innovation Advisors. 

Launched by CMS in October, the Innovation Advisors Program was established to help health professionals deepen skills that would lead to improved patient care and lower costs. Its inaugural class announced this month consists of 73 advisors from 27 states and the District of Columbia. After an initial orientation, participants will work with the CMS Innovation Center to test new models of care delivery in their own communities and create partnerships to find new ideas that work and share them across the United States. 

“Our goal is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. We’re doing this at UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh by modifying every aspect of care, no matter how routine, so that the benefits will help every patient—automatically,” said Dr. Resnick, who also is chief of geriatric medicine at UPMC. “We’ve been pleased to see positive results in just the first year, and we’re looking forward to working with the CMS Innovation Center to further enhance our approach, to share it with others, and to learn from them as well.”

Dr. Pringle, an epidemiologist, has helped lead an effort to train 300 Rite Aid pharmacists on ways to interact with consumers who come in to get prescriptions to improve their medication adherence. Preliminary results indicate that medication adherence significantly improved for four out of the five chronic disease medications studied for pharmacies implementing the program compared with control pharmacies, Dr. Pringle said.

“As an Innovation Advisor, I’ll be examining ways to maintain what we’ve established with 180 community pharmacies involving the application of screening and brief interventions. Specifically, I will be exploring how mechanisms such as the use of value-based purchasing, or pay for performance, can be developed and used to sustain and spread this effective innovation,” Dr. Pringle said.

Nearly 1,000 health professionals, including clinicians, health administrators and others, applied to the program. Those chosen will attend in-person and remote meetings to explore health care economics and finance, population health, systems analysis and operations research with a goal to drive delivery system reform, and to improve their own health systems so their communities will have better health and better care at a lower cost.

“There has been an incredible groundswell of interest in becoming an Innovation Advisor.  It’s clear that doctors, hospitals and health care providers are enthusiastic about implementing the Affordable Care Act and strengthening our health care system,” said CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. The program is funded through the Affordable Care Act. 

UPMC and Pitt’s School of Pharmacy will each receive a stipend of up to $20,000 from the program to support Dr. Resnick and Dr. Pringle’s participation in the program, respectively.

More information about the Innovation Advisors Program, including a fact sheet and a list of participants and their affiliated organizations, can be found at: http://innovations.cms.gov/initiatives/innovation-advisors/index.html.

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