Florida Blue Health Innovation Challenge


FL Blue 2020 flyer

fl blue flyer 2019 Competition participants and Directors


FL Blue 2018- All participants2019- Judges and Directors (from left to right): David Pizzo, Glenn Whichard, Gary Anderson, Jennifer Sineway, Kelli Wells, Phillip Lee, Michael Fountain, Haskell Adler, Richard Munassi      

FL Blue 2018 Winners2019- Awardees and Directors (from left to right): David Pizzo, Maria Giraldo, Valentina Dargam, Haider Ali, Ayan Nasir, Nitisha Mehta, Prisca Alilio, Frank Lee, Michael Fountain




Unnecessary hospital readmissions are now front and center in the national conversation on health care quality.

A hospital readmission is when a patient who had been discharged from an acute-care hospital is admitted again to that hospital or another acute-care hospital within 30 days for the same condition or another cause.

Patients routinely return to the hospital for adverse drug event, lack of proper follow-up care, inability to understand the importance of their medications and diagnoses, unidentified root causes and/or misdiagnosis. 

Unnecessary readmissions are disruptive to the member and family. They increase the risk of infection and complications and have negative physical, emotional and psychologic effects. 


  • Readmissions following hospitalization is a nationally accepted quality outcome measure.
  • Readmissions are costly and often preventable by reasonable measures. In fact, researchers estimate that in one year, over $25B is spent on preventable complications and unnecessary hospital readmissions.
  • Employers and individuals are unwilling to re-pay for the same services they just paid for.
  • Readmissions present quality risks inclusive of increased infections, worsening illness and at times, death.
  • 20% of Medicare patients are readmitted within 30 days after hospital discharge.
  • CMS has penalized 2,583 (83%) hospitals with a high readmission rate.
  • In Florida, 148 hospitals were penalized for preventable readmissions.
  • The most common diagnoses are pneumonia, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, COPD and elective hip and knee replacement surgery.


The 2020 Florida Blue Health Innovation Challenge is seeking innovative ways to reduce hospital readmissions in Florida. The concepts should address one of the following areas:

  • Improved discharge planning
  • Patient compliance with medication and care instructions
  • Care coordination
  • Engagement with case management
  • Home health care and other resource support
  • Financial and business plans to incentivize reduction


  • All entrants must be an undergraduate, graduate or doctorate student at a college or university located in Florida.
  • Innovations cannot have been incorporated for longer than 12 months or have investment or annual revenues in excess of $100,000
  • Entrants will be required to pitch their concepts in-person to a panel of health care and business experts during the state finals at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City in late September/early October 2020.



  • All entries must be submitted by June 1. 
  • Challenge finalists will be notified by mid-June.

 Challenge finalists will be provided an opportunity for mentoring by leaders in their fields and virtual coaching from the GuideWell Innovation team to help them further develop their concepts and presentations during the summer and early fall.


First Place - $15,000

Second Place - $5,000

Third Place - $2,500



  • BigD Synergy - Univ. of South Florida                 Julian Heredia, Srikrishna Srinivasan
  • Blue Dia-Beats  - Univ. of South Florida             Joseph June, Xuxue Sun, Sakib Nazmus
  • Bridge Health Tracking – Univ. of Central Florida                                                                    Alicia Martin, Sandeep Bala
  • Cardiacoustic – Florida Int’l Univ.                                                                                                Maria Giraldo, Valentina Dargam
  • Chronic Conditions Mapping Package- Univ. of Central Florida                                           Akhil Khan, Ayan Nasir, Haider Ali
  • EaseAwake- Univ. of Florida & Flagler College                                                                          Blake Richardson, Brooke Long, Elezar Tonev
  • FindMyFit- Univ. of Central Florida                                                                                                Alex Gartland, Andrew Pollizzi, Dang-Khoa Nguyen, Stefanie Miller
  • Florida Informed Bodies Initiative – Univ. of Florida                                                              Dain Chun, Natalie DelRocco
  • MedFlag- Univ. of South Florida                                                                                              Amanda Giggy, Caitlyn Smith, Shana Indawala
  • Photovore - Univ. of South Florida                                                                                              Frank Lee, Nitisha Mehta, Prisca Alilio
  • ReachLink – Florida Atlantic Univ. & Florida Int’l Univ.                                                          Abigail Howard, Brianna Bricken, Hannah Ore, Matthew Albers
  • Sugarbeetes- Univ. of South Florida                                                                                       Aigerim Ibraimkhanova, Nashibakhon Khodieva


  • 1st place- Chronic Conditions Mapping Package- Univ. of Central Florida
  • 2nd place- Cardiacoustic – Florida Int’l Univ.
  • 3rd place- Photovore - Univ. of South Florida

additional questions? 

Please email: eserrano2@usf.edu