The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently awarded the ABIM Foundation a $4.2 million grant to continue the advancement of the Choosing Wisely® campaign in communities across the country. Through this new funding the ABIM Foundation will launch a program that engages health care systems, hospitals and medical groups working in collaboration with multi-stakeholder community-based groups and physician-led organizations to reduce the utilization of inappropriate tests and treatments.
RWJF previously provided funding to the ABIM Foundation for 21 projects conducted by state medical societies, specialty societies and regional health collaboratives that focused on physician education and communications skills-building. While funding for those projects will conclude in March, grantees will continue their efforts to advance the campaign in their communities and actively participate in the Choosing Wisely learning network.
“Choosing Wisely has helped clinicians and patients stop and ask if a test or treatment is really needed and engage in conversations about what care is best for them,” said Daniel Wolfson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the ABIM Foundation. “Through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we’ll undertake projects that combine the collective strength of health systems, physicians and community groups working together to explore new ways of reducing waste and overuse and develop tools and resources to support clinicians in making wise decisions.”
The ABIM Foundation has issued a request for proposals that includes additional application and eligibility information. Applications are due by March 20, 2015 and seven grants are expected to be awarded.
Over the course of their 34-month grant, all grantees will focus on reducing utilization of antibiotics for acute bronchitis, as well as at least two other areas of waste or overuse cited by specialty societies in the Choosing Wisely lists.
The goal for each project will be to significantly reduce the utilization of each of the selected tests or treatments in each participating system, hospital or medical group over the course of the grant period. ABIM Foundation retained the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to analyze selected tests and treatments and provide baseline reports that summarize known evidence-based strategies for potential for reduction in utilization as well as potential cost savings.
The ABIM Foundation will also create a learning network to bring together the grantees from this program and other Choosing Wisely programs, along with stakeholders from across the health care system who are working toward the campaign’s goals of reducing overuse and waste. The learning network will allow past and present grantees to learn from one another and enhance the effectiveness of their programs.
In addition to the work of the grantees, the new funding from RWJF will support Consumer Reports and its vital role in leading patient education and outreach in Choosing Wisely. Consumer Reports will develop new materials related to the core recommendations the grantees will focus on and work with grantees and consumer partners to disseminate those materials to patients, among other activities.
To help frontline clinicians incorporate resource stewardship into their practices, the Foundation will also engage Costs of Care to develop educational tools to enhance value improvement efforts and address patient concerns about health care costs. The Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, which has supported previous grantees, will continue in its role by providing the new grantees with technical assistance and facilitating information-sharing and coordination across communities.
The work of the current grantees has expanded the campaign throughout the country. This new round of funding provides an opportunity to unite groups of clinicians at all levels around reducing the use of unnecessary tests and procedures.