[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 18 (Friday, January 27, 2012)]
[Pages 4324-4325]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-1852]



Announcement of Requirements and Registration for ``Discharge 
Follow-Up Appointment Challenge''

AGENCY: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information 
Technology, HHS.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The ``Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge'' challenges 
software developers to create an easy-to-use web-based tool that will 
make post-discharge follow-up appointment scheduling a more effective 
and shared process for care providers, patients and caregivers. In 
addition, developers will need to articulate a plan for broader 
adoption at the community level. Submissions can be existing 
applications, or applications developed specifically for this 
    The statutory authority for this challenge competition is Section 
105 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-

DATES: Effective on January 26, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adam Wong, (202) 720-2866; Wil Yu, 
(202) 690-5920.

    Subject of Challenge Competition: The Office of the National 
Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration 
with the Partnership for Patients, seeks to support spread and adoption 
of promising IT-enabled solutions targeting improved care transitions 
in the ``Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge.'' Nearly one in 
five patients from a hospital will be readmitted within 30 days. A 
large proportion of readmissions can be prevented by improving 
communications and coordinating care before and after discharge from 
the hospital.
    This challenge is the second in a series of challenges calling 
attention to care transitions, particularly the time a patient is 
discharged from a hospital; these challenges are seeking development 
and spread of IT-enabled tools that will achieve better care and better 
health at lower cost. The first challenge, ``Ensuring Safe Transitions 
from Hospital to Home,'' called upon developers to create a web-based 
application that could empower patients and caregivers to better 
navigate and manage a transition from a hospital.
    Research has shown that scheduling follow-up appointments and post-
discharge testing before a patient is discharged, with input and 
engagement from patients and caregivers, is one of the critical 
elements of a safe and effective transition. While an increasing number 
of organizations have adopted this best practice, most patients across 
the country continue to leave the hospital without confirmed 
appointments and many providers remain frustrated by a highly manual 
and unreliable system.
    Hospitals with IT-enabled scheduling processes for follow-up 
appointments often benefit from being in a delivery system where a 
single scheduling system is shared across many care settings and 
providers. A growing number of innovative consumer-facing tools are 
becoming available for patients and care givers to schedule 
appointments and rate providers. However these tools have not yet 
reached high levels of adoption within communities, and haven't to date 
targeted the appointment scheduling needs of patients, caregivers and 
providers at the point of discharge from a hospital.
    The ideal application for will include the following components: 
Easy to navigate user interface, easy to navigate process for 
downstream accepting providers, information for patient and caregiver 
convenience and preference, critical background information for 
downstream providers, messaging capabilities to minimize no-shows and 
cancellations, and EHR interface capabilities where applicable.
    To anticipate the needs of a test bed organization or community, 
successful applicants will also need to formally address the following 
pilot implementation considerations: estimated timeline for testing and 
pilot completion, description of ideal pilot environment, estimated 
resources needed for pilot, metrics to monitor pilot success, and 
proposed budget for a three-day site visit to support pilot 
    Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition:
    To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual 
or entity:
    (1) Shall have registered to participate in the competition under 
the rules promulgated by Office of the National Coordinator for Health 
Information Technology;
    (2) Shall have complied with all the requirements under this 

[[Page 4325]]

    (3) In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and 
maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the 
case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, 
shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and
    (4) May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within 
the scope of their employment.
    An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the 
individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal 
employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made 
available to all individuals and entities participating in the 
competition on an equitable basis.
    Registered participants shall be required to agree to assume any 
and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its 
related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any 
injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, 
whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their 
participation in a competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or 
loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
    Participants shall be required to obtain liability insurance or 
demonstrate financial responsibility, in amounts determined by the head 
of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information 
Technology, for claims by--
    (1) A third party for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or 
loss resulting from an activity carried out in connection with 
participation in a competition, with the Federal Government named as an 
additional insured under the registered participant's insurance policy 
and registered participants agreeing to indemnify the Federal 
Government against third party claims for damages arising from or 
related to competition activities; and
    (2) the Federal Government for damage or loss to Government 
property resulting from such an activity.
    Participants must be teams of at least two people.
    All participants are required to provide written consent to the 
rules upon or before submitting an entry.
     Submission Period Begins: 12:01 a.m., EDT, January 26, 
     Submission Period Ends: 11:59 p.m., EDT, April 30, 2012.
    Registration Process for Participants:
    To register for this challenge participants should:
     Access the www.challenge.gov Web site and search for the 
``Discharge Follow-Up Appointment Challenge''.
     Access the ONC Investing in Innovation (i2) Challenge Web 
site at:
    [cir] http://www.health2challenge.org/category/onc/
    [cir] A registration link for the challenge can be found on the 
landing page under the challenge description.
     First Prize: Partnership consideration with a pilot test 
bed community candidate and up to $5,000 to support a three-day site 
visit to the pilot community involving two-to-three people.
     Second and Third Prize: Showcase and learning session with 
innovative communities and Federal payment pilot programs focused on 
improved care transitions and care coordination at the community level.
    Awards may be subject to Federal income taxes and HHS will comply 
with IRS withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable.
    Basis upon Which Winner Will be Selected:
    The judging panel will make selections based upon the following 
    1. Effectively integrate inpatient data and provide structured 
support for self-care.
    2. Integrate design and usability concepts to drive patient and 
provider adoption and engagement.
    3. Demonstrate creative and innovative uses of mobile technologies.
    4. Demonstrate potential to improve health status for individuals 
and the community.
    5. Leverage NwHIN standards including transport, content, and 
    6. Demonstrate ability to implement the intervention in a pilot 
setting, and ultimately to scale in a community.
    Additional Information:
    Ownership of intellectual property is determined by the following:
     Each entrant retains title and full ownership in and to 
their submission. Entrants expressly reserve all intellectual property 
rights not expressly granted under the challenge agreement.
     By participating in the challenge, each entrant hereby 
irrevocably grants to Sponsor and Administrator a limited, non-
exclusive, royalty free, worldwide, license and right to reproduce, 
publically perform, publically display, and use the Submission to the 
extent necessary to administer the challenge, and to publically perform 
and publically display the Submission, including, without limitation, 
for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the challenge.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719.

    Dated: January 23, 2012.
Farzad Mostashari,
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
[FR Doc. 2012-1852 Filed 1-26-12; 8:45 am]