By Beth Kutscher

Posted: March 28, 2013 – 12:30 pm ET

Health systems in eight more states have started implementing a “medical neighborhood” demonstration project that is being piloted in 15 communities under a $20.75 million grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Led by TransforMED, a subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians that provides medical-home consulting services, the program aims to use health information technology to identify high-risk patients and coordinate care for them.

The project received the grant in June. TransforMED estimates that it can achieve total savings of $49.5 million.
Three of the systems—Via Christi Health, Wichita, Kan.; Owensboro (Ky.) Medical Health System; and Western Connecticut Health Network, Danbury—began training in February.
This month, the last five systems to implement the program kicked off training. They are Marquette (Mich.) General Health; North Shore Physicians Group, Salem, Mass.; Orlando (Fla.) Health; Avera Health, Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Novant Health, Winston-Salem, N.C.
As part of the training, TransforMED worked with local primary-care practices to develop the blueprint for the three-year patient-centered medical neighborhood.
Other partners working with TransforMED include VHA, an Irving, Texas-based network of not-for-profit healthcare organizations, and Phytel, a Dallas-based health IT company.