WellPoint and X Prize Foundation establish prize for improving healthcare quality

Although known for offering bounties for building a 100 mpg car or sending a robot to the moon, the X Prize Foundation--in collaboration with WellPoint--announced a $10 million prize to generate new ways to deal with the nation's health care system challenges. The foundation will convene a group of experts to determine a set of targets.

Rather than awarding money to honor past achievements or directly funding research, an X PRIZE incites innovation by tapping into the competitive and entrepreneurial spirit of individuals and teams to revolutionize industries for the benefit of humanity. In the Press Release, WellPoint has committed to test the selected finalists' entries in its state markets, in order to test their ability to result in viable, creative and achievable health care system changes. Transparency will be emphasized throughout the process, from development of the prize to the conclusion of the competition. All results will be shared publicly, with the knowledge gained considered non-proprietary.

Although it's not clear yet what the targets will be, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, they will probably include some combination of lowering costs and improving health outcomes.

(SOURCE: HCPro Quality Improvement Monitor, www.hcpro.com, October 17, 2008; X Prize Foundation, www.xprize.org, accessed October 17, 2008)