Archive for Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

 

Feds Looking to Bundle Medicare Post-Acute Payments?

Bring us your ideas for bundling Medicare post-acute-care payments, the head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation recently told a gathering of hospital officials in Washington, D.C.

As reported by Fierce Healthcare, CMMI director Adam Boehler told hospital officials that

Now is the time to bring us ideas.  We’re really in listening mode…I think there’s been a lot of intrigue and interest we’ve heard from people.  So we’re gathering stakeholder input there on that and it’s a great time to give us thoughts on where we can lower costs.

Learn more from the Fierce Healthcare article “CMMI’s Adam Boehler: ‘Now is the time’ to bring post-acute care bundle ideas.”

“Oh Say Can We See?”: Ways & Means Leaders Seek CMMI Transparency

The chairman and ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee have written to CMS administrator Seema Verma to ask her to address the lack of transparency in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

In the bipartisan letter, committee chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and ranking member Kevin Brady (R-TX) note that “…Congress established CMMI to test different innovative delivery system and payment models to improve quality and reduce costs for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries” but observe that “…significant policy changes made unilaterally by the executive branch without sufficient transparency could yield unintended negative consequences for beneficiaries and the health care community.”

Their request:

We strongly urge the Agency to provide more sunshine in this process, all allow Congress, beneficiaries, and stakeholders greater opportunity to provide feedback into the policies that CMMI tests that affect millions of Americans with Medicare.

The letter also poses a series of questions about CMMI’s current endeavors.

Learn more from the letter from Representatives Neal and Brady to CMS administrator Seema Verma.…

Medicaid to Help Pay for Food, Heat, Rent?

Maybe.

At least that is what Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hinted during a recent symposium held in Salt Lake City.

During the event, Azar said that HHS’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation seeks

…solutions for the whole person, including addressing housing, nutrition, and other social needs.

Azar hinted at future CMMI action, saying that

What if we gave organizations more flexibility so they could pay a beneficiary’s rent if they were in unstable housing, or make sure that a diabetic had access to, and could afford, nutritious food? If that sounds like an exciting idea … I want you to stay tuned to what CMMI is up to.

CMMI currently operates one major program that seeks to address social determinants of health:  the Accountable Health Communities model, which screens participants based on social determinants of health metrics, identifies those it considers to be at risk, and then works to link those individuals to local and community services that can help them address their health-related needs.

Learn more about Secretary Azar’s comments and the federal government’s outlook on using Medicaid to help address social determinants of health in this article in Becker’s Hospital Review.…

Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative Showing Mixed Results

The federal Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is achieving some of its objectives but not others, according to a new Health Affairs study.

The program, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, seeks to use five means – risk-stratified care management, improved access to and continuity of care, planned care for chronic conditions and preventive care, patient and caregiver engagement, and coordination of care – to “achieve improved care, better health for populations, and lower costs, and can inform future Medicare and Medicaid policy.”

According to the Health Affairs study, the program is achieving some of these objectives.

CPC practices reported improvements in primary care delivery, including care management for high-risk patients, enhanced access, and improved coordination of care transitions. The initiative slowed growth in emergency department visits by 2 percent in CPC practices, relative to comparison practices.

But it is not achieving all of its goals.  It did not, for example,

 … reduce Medicare spending enough to cover care management fees or appreciably improve physician or beneficiary experience or practice performance on a limited set of Medicare claims-based quality measures.

Learn more about the study, its findings, and its implications in the Health Affairs report “The Comprehensive Primary …

CMS Announces Drive to Reduce Paperwork

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is launching a new “Meaningful Measures” initiative that will seek to reduce the regulatory burden on health care providers.

According to a CMS news release, Meaningful Measures

…will involve only assessing those core issues that are most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes.  The agency aims to focus on outcome-based measures going forward, as opposed to trying to micromanage processes..

In a speech at the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, CMS administrator Seema Verma explained that this project will include moving the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in a new direction that promotes greater flexibility and patient engagement and implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in ways that minimize the burden and cost of complying with the law’s requirements.

To learn more about this new CMS initiative, see this CMS news release or go here to read Ms. Verma’s remarks.…