Its project is among 81 healthcare innovation awards funded by the Affordable Care Act that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on June 15. The three-year grants, ranging from $1 million to $30 million, are intended to support innovative projects nationwide designed to deliver high-quality medical care, enhance the healthcare workforce, and save money.
The Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization, has partnered with United Physicians, a physician organization of independent practices in southeastern Michigan, and the Detroit Medical Center Physician Hospital Organization.
The organizations will establish a data-exchange system between primary care physicians and imaging facilities; the goal is to increase the use of the American College of Radiology's (ACR) evidence-based guidelines by physicians ordering CT and MRI exams of the head, chest, abdomen, lumbar spine, cervical spine, shoulder, and lower extremities.
During the grant period, Altarum Institute will train a network of healthcare providers in the use of the program's systems and technology. The institute hopes to reduce CT volume by 17.4% and MRI volume by 13.4% over three years, resulting in a 17% reduction in imaging costs, or an estimated savings of $33.25 million.