25 participants advance to Stage 1 of CMS AI challenge

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has selected the top 25 participants to advance to Stage 1 of a challenge to accelerate the development of artificial intelligence solutions for healthcare.

The goal of the CMS AI Health Outcomes Challenge is to “develop AI-driven predictions for healthcare providers and clinicians, including those participating in CMS Innovation Center models,” according to the agency.

CMS has partnered with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and will award as much as $1.65 million for AI healthcare solutions in the challenge.

The 25 participants were selected for Stage 1 of the challenge from more than 300 submissions. Participants in the competition will use Medicare claims datasets to develop their AI algorithms.

The challenge has two primary objectives:

  • Use AI/deep learning methodologies to predict unplanned hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions and adverse events within 30 days for Medicare beneficiaries, based on a dataset of Medicare administrative claims data, including Medicare Part A (hospital) and Medicare Part B (professional services).
  • Develop innovative strategies and methodologies to: explain the AI-derived predictions to front-line clinicians and patients to aid in providing appropriate clinical resources to model participants; and increase use of AI-enhanced data feedback for quality improvement activities among model participants.

“Artificial Intelligence is a vehicle that can help drive our system to value—proven to reduce out-of-pocket costs and improve quality. It holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare: imagine a doctor being able to predict health outcomes—such as a hospital admission—and to intervene before an illness strikes,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a written statement.

“The participants in our AI challenge demonstrate that such possibilities will soon be within reach,” added Verma. “We congratulate the 25 innovators who have been selected to continue, and we look forward to seeing what else they have in store.”

Going forward, as many as seven participants will be awarded $60,000 each and selected to advance to Stage 2, where they will get the opportunity to further refine their algorithms and solutions using additional CMS datasets. The agency will announce the Stage 2 finalists next year. Ultimately, a grand prize winner will receive $1 million, and the runner-up will receive $230,000.

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