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Independence Blue Cross awards inaugural Clinical Care Innovation Grants to support efforts to improve quality and delivery of health care

Awardees include Axia Women’s Health, Trinity Mid-Atlantic, and Penn Medicine

Independence Blue Cross (Independence) today announced that it has awarded its inaugural Clinical Care Innovation Grants (CCI Grants) to Axia Women’s Health, Trinity Mid-Atlantic, and Penn Medicine to support projects aimed at improving the quality and delivery of health care.

“We are proud to support these projects through our CCI Grants Program and look forward to how they will improve our members’ health care experience. Our hope when we invited providers to apply for these grants was that we would see submissions that reflected novel ideas that could ultimately be shared across the Independence network as best practices in the future. I am now more confident than ever that we will achieve that goal.” – Dr. Rodrigo Cerdá, Independence vice president of Clinical Care Transformation

The five projects awarded grants include:

  • Remote postpartum hypertension monitoring led by Elizabeth Cherot, MD, MBA, FACOG, chief medical officer at Axia Women’s Health. This project remotely monitors postpartum patients for hypertension using a digital health app. The app sends Short Message Service (SMS) and push notifications to patients reminding them to check their blood pressure twice a day, tracks patients’ blood pressure data, and keeps physicians up to date on patients who have an elevated or critical blood pressure reading. The goals of this monitoring are to identify preventable postpartum complications early and avoid hospital readmissions.
  • Enhanced primary care model to reduce the burden and progression of chronic kidney disease led by Cheryl Jackson, MD, internal medicine physician at Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. This project, known as Achieving Lasting Improvements via Engagement (ALIVE), aims to:
    • Manage chronic kidney disease through partnerships with patients, caretakers, and primary care providers.
    • Reduce unnecessary utilization of costly health care services by providing comprehensive medical and social services.
    • Increase engagement level with patients to control their chronic illnesses through nutrition, exercise, medication management, and education about their disease.
  • Remote supervised cardiac rehabilitation for patients recovering from acute events related to heart disease led by Srinath Adusumalli, MD, assistant chief medical information officer of Connected Health Strategy and Application at Penn Medicine. This project engages patients at home in an exercise-based, multidisciplinary program aimed at reducing hospital readmissions, recurrent cardiac events, and mortality.
  • Automated platform called LiveAware aimed at improving on-time imaging-based screening rates for cancer led by Tessa Cook, MD, PhD, FSIIM, assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Practice Transformation in Radiology at Penn Medicine. This project is also designed to reduce the cognitive burden on clinicians to determine patients eligible for cancer screening and improve patient outcomes.
  • Automated text messaging system called Penny assisting patients with taking complicated oral chemotherapy treatments at home led by Lawrence Shulman, MD, deputy director of Clinical Services at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center. This project is intended to improve treatment adherence, help effectively manage treatment side effects, and decrease the need for phone and office visits and emergency department visits.

Health systems and large specialty groups in the Independence network and currently enrolled in a value-based care program are eligible to participate in the CCI Grants Program. Each entity is permitted up to three submissions a year.

Media contact:
Diana Quattrone
215-815-7828 (cell)