Our application process is run on a quarterly basis. We encourage you to contact us at any time to begin discussing your idea and proposal at
To begin the application process, you should:
- Submit the QUAD Chart as an overview of your idea.
- Contact us to schedule an opportunity assessment meeting during the first week of March, June, September, or December to have your proposal reviewed during that quarter.
- An application for a novel health care intervention that does not yet have widespread reimbursement. Interventions could include: a medical device, a diagnostic or medical test, durable medical equipment, or a new procedure or care process.
- The project has potential for either:
- Short or long term cost savings to the participant, clinician, or payer.
- Improvements to quality of care or clinical outcomes.
- The innovation has received appropriate regulatory approval.
- Innovator teams should be facilitated by or have the engagement of an Allegheny Health Network (AHN) clinician(s).
Total funding and project timeline are determined in consultation with the VITAL team and with approval by the VITAL Committee but typically range from $100,000 to $750,000.
The complete application process from submission to funding decision typically takes approximately 90 days.
Applicants should submit the QUAD Chart to VITAL@highmarkhealth.org to have their proposal reviewed during the next quarter and to trigger scheduling of the opportunity assessment meeting. The QUAD chart covers the following topic areas. We encourage brief summaries in each of these areas and use of bullet points, graphs, figures, timelines, etc..
- Problem description and background
- Proposed solution and study design
- Value proposition – describe potential quality of care and cost of care benefits. Include metrics that will be used to assess both clinical and cost outcomes.
Download QUAD Chart
2. Opportunity Assessment Meeting
The purpose of the meeting is for the proposing team to meet with the VITAL team with the goal of coming to consensus on metrics that will aid the proposal and be the most critical measures of success. Opportunity assessment meetings for 2017 should be scheduled during the weeks of Feb 27th, May 29th, and Aug 28th. Meetings should be requested a minimum of 1 week in advance of the above dates.
The proposing team is invited to submit a proposal based on the recommendation of the VITAL team. The proposing team will work closely with the VITAL team to craft their 5 page written proposal in preparation for review by the VITAL Committee. The proposal should meet the following formatting requirements:
- 1 inch margins
- Minimum of 11 point font
- May include color figures, tables, images, etc.
The proposal should address the following topics:
- Team/Project Name
Background and Solution Description: Provides a detailed background for the idea and its implementation.
Scope of the problem:
- Description of current standard of care and why it isn't effective.
- Description of the population and number of patients affected.
- Health care expenditures for treatment and/or diagnosis.
- Future trend of the problem.
- The proposed solution:
- Description of the novel intervention.
- Description of competing technologies or methods in the field (if applicable).
- Summary of preliminary data: Describes the current research progress that supports the proposed solution. Available relevant publications may be attached.
- Value proposition:
- Describe the benefit(s) of this intervention from both quality of care and cost of care standpoint. The perspective of the patient, the provider, and the insurer should be taken into account.
- Describe the mechanism/metrics that will be used to quantify/test both clinical and cost of care outcomes.
- Please include a detailed analysis of the potential Return on Investment of the proposed project by demonstrating how cost savings from the study will negate study costs.
Scope of work:
- Project team and roles.
- Study design and protocol including patient enrollment targets and study site(s).
- Timeline and milestones of proposed study.
Detailed budget and budget justification: Appropriate cost sharing from companies, third parties and providers is encouraged and should be fully described.
Supplementary Information – Please comment on the following, if relevant:
- Intellectual property status.
- Conflict of interest.
- FDA/regulatory status.
- Reimbursement status including CMS or other commercial coverage.
- IRB: Expectations for informed consent and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.
- Data: Is PHI being used and how is it being secured, stored, and managed. Will a data exchange agreement be necessary?
Additional materials – Materials such as letters of support, reference materials, exhibits, etc. can be appended to the 5 page proposal.
4. Phase 1 VITAL Committee meeting
The VITAL Committee meets monthly and reviews new proposals in April, July, and October. The VITAL committee will review the proposal and determine either 1) Proposal is accepted and team is invited to present at next month’s phase 2 committee meeting 2) Proposal pending- needs more development 3) Proposal does not meet VITAL mission and is not advanced. The proposing team will receive feedback from the committee.
5. Phase 2 VITAL Committee Meeting
The proposing team is invited to present to the VITAL committee. Proposing team has 15 minutes in front of the committee. We recommend a 10 minute presentation with 5 minutes for discussion/questions, taking into account any feedback from the previous committee meeting.
6. Funding Decision
The VITAL Committee makes a funding decision for the context and duration of the project. The innovator team will lead project implementation in collaboration with VITAL program administrators. As the study progresses, the VITAL team will work with the innovator team to access medical and claims data from study participants to understand the impact of the new intervention on healthcare utilization, spending, and clinical outcomes.