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$250K Challenge Seeks Post-Hospital Care Ideas

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Janssen Healthcare Innovation, a unit of pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson in San Diego, is offering a challenge with a total of $250,000 in awards for technology solutions to improve the care for patients discharged from the hospital. The Janssen Connected Care Challenge was announced today by Kimberly Park, a Janssen Healthcare Innovation partner, at the Care Innovations Summit, a conference in Washington, D.C.

Janssen says the challenge is designed to spur innovations for achieving better care and health at lower cost through continuous improvement, in this case on solutions to improve the coordination of care as patients are discharged after surgery or other inpatient stays. One in three patients aged 21 and older, discharged from a hospital to the community, says Janssen, does not see a doctor within 30 days of discharge.  These patients are at the highest risk of being readmitted to the hospital.

The lack of coordinated post-hospital care increases the likelihood of readmission, which is a big driver of health care costs. While readmissions are a problem for all payers, the estimate for Medicare is that readmissions cost $15 billion a year, and $12 billion of these readmissions are considered preventable.

One contributor to high readmissions is believed to be a lack of communication and coordination among the patient, care giver, primary care doctor, and hospital’s physicians. Janssen says it is particularly interested in technology-based ideas to improve information sharing between hospitals, patients, care givers, and community-based doctors as a way to target this communication and coordination gap.

Ideas can be submitted between 27 February and 25 March 2012. Participants must be residents of the U.S. Submissions must consist of a text description and a visual supplement, such as a diagram or screen shot. The text part of the submission should include a description of the idea, a statement of benefit, and a business model showing its scalability and viability at minimal cost. Prototypes are not required for the initial submission, but finalists may be asked to prepare a prototype.

Three finalists will be asked to describe their solutions in detail before a panel of judges in May 2012, in a live, Webcast session. The winner will be announced on 23 May. The three finalists will each take home a $50,000 prize, and the overall winner will receive a $100,000 award.

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