UH Rainbow Hospital gets grant money from Health Care Act for children's health care

CLEVELAND - Millions of dollars in tax money from the president's 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been awarded as a grant to University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.

The hospital will receive $12.7 million in grant money to use a new way to deliver better health care for children, while lowering costs.

UH Rainbow plans to implement a workforce the hospital calls the Physician Extension Team, or PET. It's comprised of three programs. One involves health care professionals giving customized education, training, and enrollment in initiatives to primary care offices. Another part of PET gives round-the-clock access to nurses and physicians who provide advice and referrals through tele-health facilities and instant alert devices that connect homes to on-call personnel. The third program has health care advocates helping primary care doctors give patients with medical evaluations and home-based assessments, mental health support, and lines up social services.

In a news release issued Tuesday, hospital leaders said the PET model will improve children's health.

"Our goal with the PET model is develop a sustainable coordinated system that improves the quality of outpatient care for children," said Leona Cuttler, MD, UH Rainbow's Director of the Center for Child Health and Policy in the release. Her statement said children should have more access to their doctors, and improved behavioral health services. Through these programs, she stated, emergency room visits and hospitalization should decrease.

"It's yet another way we are supporting local communities now in their efforts to provide better care and lower cost," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in the news release issued by UH Rainbow.

The grant comes from a law currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices are considering whether to strike down all or part of the law, with a ruling due next month.

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