One of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) top priorities is to foster an affordable, accessible healthcare system that puts patients first. To help achieve these goals, CMS has a powerful tool through the Innovation Center for testing ways to improve quality and reduce costs.
In September 2017, CMS released a Request for Information (RFI) to collect ideas on a new direction for the Innovation Center to promote patient-centered care and test market driven reforms that:
- empower beneficiaries as consumers,
- provide price transparency,
- increase choices and competition to drive quality,
- reduce costs, and
- improve outcomes.
The Innovation Center is a central focus of the Administration’s efforts to accelerate the move from a healthcare system that pays for volume to one that pays for value and encourages provider innovation.
The Innovation Center received a robust response with approximately 1,000 responses from the public, including consumers and consumer groups, physicians and other healthcare providers, health systems, health plans, national and state associations, community-based providers, foundations, faith-based organizations, states and technology firms. The responses focused on a number of areas that are critical to improving the quality of care for beneficiaries and decreasing unnecessary cost, such as increased physician accountability for patient outcomes, improved patient choice and transparency, realigned incentives for the benefit of the patient, and a focus on chronically ill patients. In addition to the themes that emerged around the RFI’s guiding principles and eight model focus areas, the comments received in response to the RFI also reflected broad support for reducing burdensome requirements and unnecessary regulations.
CMS is sharing the feedback received to promote transparency and facilitate further discussion of how to move the Innovation Center in a new direction. The RFI was a critical step in the model design process to ensure stakeholder input was available to help shape new models. Over the coming year CMS will use the feedback as it works to develop new models, focusing on the eight focus areas outlined in the RFI.
CMS will continue engaging with stakeholders to help foster the design and successful testing of care delivery and payment models that put patients first, reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies and improve the patient experience.
Public comments that were received by the Innovation Center in response to the RFI are available below: