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Office of Communications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: CMS Regional Press Office
November 18, 2011


Illinois Organization Awarded Funds to Find New Ways to Improve Care for People with Medicare

The Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE SeniorLife) today became one of seven organizations across the country selected to test new ways to improve care for people with Medicare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced.

“Lack of coordinated care between hospitals and caretakers such as nursing homes or home health providers can sometimes result in medical complications and costly, potentially avoidable return trips to the hospital,” said Donald M. Berwick, M.D., CMS administrator. “CJE SeniorLife will be looking at methods to improve collaboration among caregivers to promote better health and better use of health care dollars.”

The new Community-Based Care Transitions Program was created by the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law of 2010. The program will help the selected community-based organizations form partnerships with hospitals to prevent problems after patients leave the hospital. Today’s announcement will support 38 local hospitals and help more than 34,000 Medicare beneficiaries across the country.

The Community-Based Care Transitions Program is an initiative of the Partnership for Patients, a new public-private partnership created by the new health care law. Partnership for Patients is designed to help improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for beneficiaries of Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The Partnership’s two goals are to reduce harm in hospital settings by 40 percent and to reduce hospital readmissions by 20 percent over a three-year period. By forming partnerships with hospitals and other health care providers, community organizations will help beneficiaries stay in contact with their doctors and ensure proper post-acute care steps are being followed.

CJE SeniorLife is located in Chicago, IL. It is partnering with Northwestern Memorial, Saint Joseph Hospital, and Saint Francis Hospital and working closely with Area Agencies on Aging in Chicago and suburbs, local Care Coordination Units (CCUs), and Illinois’ Quality Improvement Organization, IFMC.

CJE SeniorLife is one of seven community-based organizations entering into a two-year agreement with the CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation which will run the program. Each group will be paid a flat fee per beneficiary for those services. This is the first round of awards for the Community-Based Care Transitions Program, which is continuing to accept applications.

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