Federal Officials Launch New Innovation Center for Medicare, Medicaid
On Tuesday, CMS launched a new division called the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which will test various Medicare payment and health care delivery strategies, CQ HealthBeat reports (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 11/16).
The center was created under the federal health reform law (Stephenson, Reuters, 11/16).
CMS officials hope the center ultimately will foster better care quality (AP/Boston Globe, 11/17).
The center launches just after the release of a study by HHS' Office of Inspector General that found that one in seven Medicare beneficiaries is harmed while hospitalized. Study authors called for greater oversight and financial incentives for hospitals to improve care and reduce errors (California Healthline, 11/16).
Details of the Center
CMS said the center first will consider approaches for grouping payments for multiple procedures, a process known as "bundling," as well as strategies for creating so-called health home models wherein patients with at least two chronic conditions can designate a health care provider to coordinate treatments (Reuters, 11/16).
Projects focusing on helping physicians coordinate care can lead to fewer medical errors by better informing doctors who sometimes do not know what tests or treatments a patient received or missed with another care provider, according to the AP/Boston Globe (AP/Boston Globe, 11/17).
One care coordination project being launched by the new center could include up to one million elderly U.S. residents in eight states (CQ HealthBeat, 11/16). A second project will aim to integrate care throughout hundreds of low-income U.S. health clinics (Reuters, 11/16).
Insurers Support New Division
The new center has the support of health insurers, according to CQ HealthBeat.
Karen Ignagni -- president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans -- said, "Within the private sector, innovative designs are flourishing, and part of the work of the new center will involve partnerships with these initiatives and the dissemination of information about what is working so that successful designs can be replicated across the country," adding, "Our plans look forward to working with CMS as the new center progresses" (CQ HealthBeat, 11/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.