Penn Medicine Innovation Projects Secure Independence Blue Cross Grants

PHILADELPHIA— Three Penn Medicine projects tied to its Center for Health Care Innovation were chosen by Independence Blue Cross to receive Clinical Care Innovation Grants. These grants are awarded annually to programs in the Philadelphia area that “improve the health and well-being” of patients.

“Independence Blue Cross and Penn both seek care models that dramatically improve patient outcomes and value,” said Roy Rosin, the chief innovation officer at Penn Medicine. “Penn has built strong, early evidence in these novel approaches to care delivery, and Independence Blue Cross will now help advance and accelerate these projects to achieve widespread impact.”

The three projects awarded grants include:

Remote supervised cardiac rehabilitation for patients recovering from acute events related to heart disease – engaging patients at home in an exercise-based, multidisciplinary program which reduces hospital readmissions, recurrent cardiac events, and mortality. Srinath Adusumalli, MD, the assistant chief medical information officer of Connected Health Strategy and Application and the assistant program director of the Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship, and Neel Chokshi, MD, the director of the Center for Digital Cardiology, lead this effort.
LiveAware, an automated platform to improve on-time imaging-based screening rates for cancer, reduce the cognitive burden on clinicians to determine patients eligible for screening, and improve patient outcomes. This project is led by Tessa Cook, MD PhD FSIIM, an assistant professor and co-director of the Center for Practice Transformation in Radiology.
Penny, an automated text messaging system for assisting patients with taking complicated oral chemotherapy treatments at home, leading to higher treatment adherence,effective management of side effects, and decreased need for phone and office visits, as well as emergency department visits. Lawrence Shulman, MD, the deputy director of Clinical Services at the Abramson Cancer Center, will lead this project.
Each of these projects have already been used to help Penn Medicine patients, but the grants will help them expand into new, more rigorous phases of trials that will build toward the goal of wider use.

“These funds will support research efforts designed to provide the clinical evidence we need to move us toward making these the standards of care,” said Elissa Klinger, the assistant director of the Center for Digital Health within the Center for Health Care Innovation, who helped the projects apply for the grants. “For example, the Penny bot is being built out and enrolling more patients to ensure it continues to be safe and effective, which will provide evidence needed to make it the standard of care.”

Each of these projects benefitted from expertise and resources provided by the Center for Health Care Innovation’s Acceleration Lab, in close collaboration with clinical leaders from across Penn Medicine.

“We want best practices to be considered ‘business as usual’ so they’re broadly available to patients, help reduce clinician workloads as they deliver the best possible care, and drive value and efficient allocation of resources,” Rosin said.


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