• Bring back the Medicare experiments!

    Together with Scott Levy and Rahul Rajkumar, both formerly of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, I’ve got a new piece out in the New England Journal of Medicine:

    In an ambitious effort to slow the growth of health care costs, the Affordable Care Act created the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and armed it with broad authority to test new approaches to reimbursement for health care and delivery-system reforms. CMMI was meant to be the government’s innovation laboratory for health care: an entity with the independence to break with past practices and the power to experiment with bold new approaches. Over the past year, however, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has quietly hobbled CMMI, imperiling its ability to generate meaningful data on strategies for reducing spending on Medicare and Medicaid.

    The controversy involves the abrupt termination (or, in one case, narrowing) of several “mandatory” payment programs. … The backpedaling is unfortunate and unnecessary. Mandatory programs are crucial tools for evaluating new payment models, and they stand on a solid legal foundation.

    Read the whole thing here!

    @nicholas_bagley

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