AHQA Statement on the SIP Awards

Contact: Alison Teitelbaum
Phone: 703-506-7669

CMS Awards Special Innovation Projects to 12
Regional Quality Innovation Networks-Quality Improvement Organizations

McLean, VA — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to drive efforts for better care, smarter spending, and healthier people by awarding 20, two-year Special Innovation Projects (SIPs) to 12 regional Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs). This is the second round of SIP awards in consecutive years. These SIPs focus on evidence-based practice and allow for local innovations that advance local efforts for better care at lower costs and national impact interventions that are ready for spread and scalability to address critical healthcare quality issues. Specifically, these SIPs address quality of life improvement for residents in nursing homes, the reduction of opioid misuse, improvement in chronic care management, and the acceleration of treatment for better stroke outcomes among other crucially important healthcare quality issues. 

These SIPs align with the CMS Quality Strategy to improve population health, provide better care for individuals, and lower cost through improvement. The outcomes of these projects will be used to further develop the QIO Program, the engine driving greater connectivity and coordination across all settings and providers to transform healthcare delivery for America’s Medicare beneficiaries. These SIPs allow providers, organizations, patients, and others to impact healthcare quality at local and national levels through the QIO Program’s Strategic Innovation Center, which furthers the CMS Quality Strategy by quickly implementing these innovative healthcare quality improvement projects and spreading evidence-based practices to communities.

“The QIN-QIOs are excited about the opportunity to implement these new initiatives, which encourage flexible and innovative approaches to improving the lives and health of Medicare beneficiaries,”  said Jane Brock, MD, MSPH, President of the American Health Quality Association.

The SIPs awarded were rigorously vetted by CMS prior to funding. Those QIN-QIOs awarded proposed projects that were scientifically sound, had a strong analytic framework, contained interventions based on evidence, and demonstrated sound local, regional, and national partnerships that furthered CMS Quality Strategy goals.

“The SIP program is an exciting initiative in which the QIN-QIOs will be able to showcase their tremendous skill and expertise at effecting meaningful health quality improvement in targeted areas” said Alison Teitelbaum, MS, MPH, CAE, Executive Director of the American Health Quality Association. “We are extremely proud of the work all our QIN-QIO members do to advance the quality of care across America.”

A complete list of 2016 SIP awardees is located on the QIO Program website


The American Health Quality Association (AHQA) is an educational, not-for-profit national membership association dedicated to promoting and facilitating fundamental change that improves the quality of health care in America. AHQA represents Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) QIN-QIOs and other professionals working to improve health care quality and patient safety.

AHQA maintains close working relationships with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and national professional medical and health care associations—serving as a professional resource and partner on projects.

In addition, AHQA regularly works with lawmakers, regulators, health care providers, and consumers to advocate its policies and to gain support and visibility for the goals and accomplishments of its members.