Hospital and Healthcare Transformation – Update No. 5: Transformation Program Application

March 9, 2021


The Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) has released a March 8, 2021, Provider Notice announcing the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives Program that includes the Application for Funding Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives.

HFS Webinar on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm:
The Department intends to host a webinar on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 3:00 pm for those interested in learning more about Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives.  You may register for the webinar here.

HFS Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives Program:
The HFS Provider Notice announces that, as outlined in Public Act 101-650 and SB 1510 passed in January 2021, the Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives program is designed to improve healthcare outcomes, reduce healthcare disparities, and realign resources in distressed communities throughout Illinois.  In particular, the program seeks to increase access to community-based services, preventive care, obstetric care, chronic disease management, and specialty care in these communities.

HFS emphasizes that this program makes available as much as $150 million per fiscal year beginning in State Fiscal Year 2021.  This funding is available to collaborations between care providers, including preventative care, primary care, specialty care, hospital services, mental health and substance abuse services, and community-based entities that address the social determinants of health.  The Provider Notice states that priority will be given to collaborations that include safety net hospitals or critical access hospitals, as well as culturally-competent, minority-owned or -controlled partners.  HFS states that applications from all types of provider collaborations and from communities across the state will be considered over the coming months and years.

The HFS notice states that proposals from collaborations seeking funding in the first round of awards for transformation funds are due no later than April 9, 2021.  This first round will be followed with a second round of applications due September 1, 2021.  There will also be opportunities to apply for funding in subsequent years.  For the September deadline and future funding cycles, HFS will be offering consulting services to assist collaborations with applications.  HFS recommends that interested parties continue to watch its Healthcare Transformation webpage for further information.

The application for those wishing to apply for funding April 9 is available on the Department’s Healthcare Transformation webpage.  The Department encourages only those collaborations with well-developed plans to apply for the first round of funding.

The HFS Notice also advises that the application for those seeking consulting services to prepare an application for the second round of funding will also soon be posted on the Healthcare Transformation webpage.

Criteria for Evaluating Applications for Funding: 
According to the Provider Notice, HFS will evaluate applications for funding based on the following sets of criteria.

First, according to the Provider Notice, HFS is seeking to fund collaborations between care providers and community-based entities that will: 

  • improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare disparities;
  • improve the integration, efficiency, and coordination of care across provider types and levels of care;
  • increase access to preventive, primary or specialty care in the community; and
  • address specific social determinants of health that impact access to care and impact health outcomes.
Secondly, the HFS Provider Notice also states that Applicants must:
  • demonstrate that the proposed project addresses community needs and desires established via direct community input;
  • propose quality metrics to track impact of the proposed intervention and for which the project will be accountable;
  • incorporate racial equity into the proposed project / collaboration;
  • benchmark current job levels in the community and track the continued maintenance and improvement of these levels (proposals that include retraining, innovative ideas or other workforce development are of particular interest to HFS);
  • demonstrate how the initial project funded by HFS through this program will move to a place of financial sustainability in the future without subsidization by transformation funds; and
  • describe the governance structure of your collaboration, showing how decisions are made and how the collaborators intend to monitor and enforce adherence to the policies and practices put in place.
Background Information: For Further Information: Contact IHA