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State Issues $12.2M in Training Grants to Reduce Healthcare Costs

LOWELL — Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian awarded more than $12.2 million in the latest round of grants to help train healthcare providers to improve patient service and reduce healthcare costs. The funding goes to 53 organizations across the state as part of the Patrick administration’s effort to encourage economic growth by supporting innovation in the Commonwealth’s healthcare industry.

“These grants will help ensure healthcare providers succeed in implementing new models of service delivery and adapt to new payment structures,” said Kaprielian. “By providing resources to develop new and innovative training and education programs, Massachusetts will continue to solidify its place as a leader in healthcare modernization and advances.”

In 2012, Gov. Deval Patrick signed a law making Massachusetts the first state in the country to enact healthcare quality-improvement and cost-containment legislation. The act allocated $20 million to prepare the healthcare industry for the new demands and innovations called for in the legislation. Patrick announced the first round of grants in March, allowing businesses to assess their workforce and determine what skills and training they will need to change operations and deliver more efficient healthcare.

For many of this week’s grantees, the training activity ahead builds on that planning work. All the grantees have identified a set of operational changes that are driving their need for increased workforce skills. The training activity will support new models for coordinating care across professions, institutions, and settings; focus on patient-centered care, stronger patient engagement, and health education to promote health and wellness; and spur the integration of primary care and behavioral health.

In Western Mass., grants were awarded to Berkshire Health System ($249,286), Community Health Programs ($148,349), Baystate Medical Center ($249,682), Gandara Center ($250,000); Springfield Technical Community College ($156,338); and Carson Center for Human Services ($249,996).

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