Press Release

Embargoed Until Contact

December 16, 2010
12:01 AM PST

Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962


CMS’ Gilfillan Keynotes Health Affairs Conference On Innovation


CMS’ Gilfillan Keynotes Health Affairs Conference On Innovation

Washington, D.C., December 16--Richard Gilfillan, M.D., acting director of the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), will outline the Innovation Center’s plans to partner with health care organizations that are improving care and lowering costs at a day-long conference convened today by Health Affairs, the nation’s leading journal on health policy.  The “Innovations Across the Nation” conference will feature 20 organizations that are spearheading constructive change in their communities and offering model approaches to boost quality and value in health care. The conference will also be webcast live on Health Affairs’ website.  (

"We welcome the opportunity that Health Affairs is providing to help accelerate effective reform in health care delivery and payment," said Dr. Gilfillan. "A priority feature of the new Innovation Center will be finding new and promising approaches to improving patient health in a more efficient manner, and this conference will make an important contribution in bringing together organizations that are on the leading edge of delivery and payment innovation."

The Innovation Center, a unit of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures,”  according to the statute. It now seeks to capitalize on the drive that already exists within the health care system to achieve the so-called Triple Aim – better health, better health care, and lower costs.

Today’s Health Affairs conference takes place at the Ronald Reagan Center in Washington, D.C. The program features institutions of all sizes that have innovated in improving the care of particular groups of patients, such as children with asthma or adults with diabetes; in improving the coordination of care, especially for those with chronic illness; and in improving “population” health, or the overall health of their communities.

“The lessons of today’s conference are clear: No particular size or type of health care organization in America has a monopoly on innovation,” said Health Affairs’ Editor-in-Chief, Susan Dentzer.  “Across the country, we see all kinds of entities -- from small community clinics and standalone hospitals, to mid-size and large hospital systems, to integrated systems and to proactive health plans and insurers -- adopting a variety of innovations to make care better, and a far better value for the nation’s patients, consumers, businesses and taxpayers.”

Dentzer noted that, following the innovation conference, Health Affairs will publish a number of case studies about the health care organizations featured in its March 2011 edition.

Also today, Health Affairs released a related article as a web first, titled “A Model For Integrating Independent Physicians Into Accountable Care Organizations,” by Mark C. Shields, Pankaj H. Patel, Martin Manning and Lee Sacks.  ( All the authors are affiliated with Advocate Physician Partners in Illinois, one of the organizations featured at today’s conference.  The article details how Advocate Physician partners, an organization of over 3,500 physicians, created a new kind of accountable care model by organizing physicians into partnerships with hospitals to improve care, cut costs and be held accountable for the results. The article will also appear in the January edition of Health Affairs.

The Innovation Conference and the publication of the follow-up case studies are sponsored by leading philanthropic and health care organizations. Platinum Sponsors are the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the American Hospital Association. Gold Sponsors are the Aetna Foundation, the American Medical Association, Blue Shield of California Foundation, California HealthCare Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, The John A. Hartford Foundation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, and UnitedHealth Group.

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published weekly at You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter and download Narrative Matters on iTunes. Address inquiries to Sue Ducat at (301) 841-9962 or