A new organization has launched with the goal of driving innovative practices in health care throughout the state.
The Virginia Center for Health Innovation launched March 16 as a nonprofit that includes stakeholders from state government, business and the medical community.
In part, the center evolved out of an effort to secure more federal and private grants that are being offered to remake the health care system into one that improves quality and lowers costs.
“Virginia has, to date, not done a particularly good job of bringing those dollars to Virginia,” said Beth Bortz, president and CEO of the new center. “We really need to get our act together to figure out how to work together so we are more effective at going after those funds.”
Specifically the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was created by the Affordable Care Act and provided $10 billion in direct funding from 2011 through 2019.
“We have innovative pockets throughout the commonwealth, but Virginia organizations are often competing amongst themselves,” Bortz said.
Her priority is to get those pockets of innovation, which include some things being tested in Southwest Virginia, to work together.
Bortz said the effort isn’t just about improving health care, but about remaining a good place for businesses and spurring economic development throughout the state. For that reason, the center is being housed inside the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Other partners in forming the new center are:
- Medical Society of Virginia
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association
- Virginia Association of Health Plans
- Virginia Health Care Foundation
- Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association
- Virginians Improving Patient Care and Safety
Each of those six contributed $50,000 in start-up funds for the center. Another $60,000 came from private foundations, including $30,000 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and a $15,000 grant from Grantmakers in Health that was matched by the Virginia Health Care Foundation, Bortz said.
Carilion Clinic CEO Nancy Agee is on the board of the center.