Press Releases

Two Delaware Hospitals Receive Health Care Innovation Awards

Awards funded by the Affordable Care Act go to Christiana Care Health System and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Jul 23 2012

NEWARK, Del. – Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.), announced Christiana Care Health System and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children were recipients of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Care Innovation Awards, funded through the CMS Innovation Center that was created by the Affordable Care Act. The delegation was joined by Gov. Jack Markell, Dr. William S. Weintraub of Christiana Care Health System and Dr. Kevin Churchwell of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Together, these hospitals received nearly $13.7 million for new programs.

Christiana Care Health System received $10 million for its program, Bridging the Divide. The funding will help Christiana Care Health System create and test a system that will use a "patient care hub" and case managers to improve care for post-myocardial infarction and revascularization patients, the majority of them Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries.

Nemours Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children received $3,697,300 for its Optimizing Health Outcomes for children with Asthma in Delaware project. Nemours is partnering with Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, and Division of Public Health, the South Wilmington Planning Network, Healthy Kids Collaboration in Kent County, Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition, United Way of Delaware, and University of Delaware will use the funding to enhance family-centered health homes by expanding services for children with asthma and developing a population health initiative in the neighborhoods surrounding targeted primary care practices.

"Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and Christiana Care Health System both have a long history of service and commitment to the health of Delawareans," said Governor Markell. "This funding helps both programs maintain that focus while exploring innovative ways to improve our overall well-being."

"Both of these award-winning Delaware programs aim to reduce the cost of health care through prevention," said Sen. Carper. "By preventing disease and illness from getting worse or starting in the first place, we can increase Delawareans' quality of life and bring down the costs of care by reducing expensive emergency room visits and hospital procedures. Programs like these are at the very heart of the Affordable Care Act, working to improve health care outcomes while reducing health care costs."

"Delawareans are fortunate to have access to top-notch hospitals like Christiana Care and Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and support from sources like the Health Innovation Awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help them to continue on a path of excellence," Sen. Coons said. "This funding is about giving the health care workforce the tools they need to provide more thorough, accurate and efficient care to patients. I feel strongly that these programs are worth investing in because the payoff will be huge – they will not only save money for years to come, but they will also save lives."

"The current cost of health care is unsustainable and a burden on American businesses and families," said Congressman Carney. "Washington doesn't have all the answers to bring these costs down. The resources announced today will be used to identify and develop best practices for improving patient care while reducing costs. Nemours and Christiana Care have developed innovative approaches to accomplishing this goal, and I look forward to their work being used as an example to promote quality, efficient health care nationwide."

Christiana Care will integrate statewide health information exchange data with cardiac care registries from the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, enabling more effective care/case management through near real time visibility of patient care events, lab results, and testing. This will decrease emergency room visits and avoidable readmissions to hospitals and improve interventions and care transitions. The investments made by this grant are expected to generate cost savings beyond the three year grant period.

"Our work through this grant will result in patients experiencing an improved quality of care and an improved quality of life," said William S. Weintraub, M.D., FACC, Christiana Care's John H. Ammon Chair of Cardiology and the director of the Christiana Care Center for Outcomes Research. "The advantage of our proposal is that it is designed to work with existing hospital and office information systems so we can zero in and customize our care of patients in the most efficient and effective manner."

The project at Nemours will foster healthier neighborhoods through partnerships between Nemours and neighborhood leaders that focus on asthma trigger reduction in homes, schools, child care centers and other community settings. It will also increase coordination of services by integrating care with community support services and local government initiatives to provide healthier environments for children by deploying community health workers to serve as patient navigators and provide case management services to families with high needs. The goal of this model is to reduce asthma-related emergency room use and asthma-related hospitalization among pediatric Medicaid patients in Delaware by 50 percent by 2015 with incremental declines in 2013 and 2014.

"This award brings a wonderful opportunity for Nemours to continue our work of advancing the health of children and families in Delaware," said Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, CEO Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. "It will help us continue our long history of meeting the medical needs of children but it also helps us meet their non-medical needs both in the pediatrician's office and in their neighborhoods. Our medical home work will not only benefit the children we see at Nemours but it will also benefit their neighborhoods and the surrounding population. Nemours is gratified by this award, which allows us to expand our work in communities and to promote the health of even more children in Delaware."