The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new competition that aims to accelerate innovative solutions to better predict health outcomes and improve the quality of care for patients. Following President Trump’s executive order to prioritize research and development of America’s artificial intelligence capabilities, the CMS Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge will unleash innovative solutions as CMS continues to move the healthcare system towards value.

“The Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge is an opportunity for innovators to demonstrate how artificial intelligence tools – such as deep learning and neural networks – can be used to predict unplanned hospital and skilled nursing facility admissions and adverse events,” said CMS Administrator, Seema Verma. “For artificial intelligence to be successful in healthcare, it must not only enhance the predictive ability of illnesses and diseases, but also enable providers to focus more time with patients. The power of artificial intelligence will truly be unleashed when providers understand and trust the data and predictions.”

Partnering with the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the challenge will engage with innovators from all sectors – not just from healthcare – to harness artificial intelligence solutions to predict health outcomes. It aims to develop artificial intelligence-driven predictions that healthcare providers and clinicians participating in CMS Innovation Center models could use to reduce the burden to perform quality improvement activities and make quality measures more impactful.

The challenge is a three-stage competition that will begin with the Launch Stage, in which participants will submit an application. Up to 20 participants will be selected to participate in Stage 1 of the Challenge. More information about Stage 1 and Stage 2 will be announced later this year.

CMS and the partnering organizations will award up to $1.65-million in total to selected participants in Stage 1 and Stage 2. Prize amounts are subject to change. If selected for Stage 1, participants will develop algorithms that predict health outcomes from Medicare fee-for-service data, and strategies and methodologies to explain the artificial intelligence-driven predictions to frontline clinicians and physicians while building trust in the data. Participants in Stages 1 and 2 of the competition will use Medicare claims data sets provided by CMS to develop their algorithms and solutions.

The deadline for submitting applications for the Launch Stage is June 18, 2019.