4 healthcare groups weigh in on CMS' innovation center direction

In September, CMS issued a request for information seeking feedback on what it called a "new direction" for its Innovation Center.

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation was established to help evaluate payment and delivery system models for Medicare and Medicaid programs, but the agency hoped to use it to promote patient-centered care and market-driven reforms.

Comments were due Nov. 20 on ways CMS could "empower beneficiaries as consumers, provide price transparency, increase choices and competition to drive quality, reduce costs and improve outcomes."

Here is how four healthcare groups responded.

1. The American Hospital Association argues CMMI should apply principles such as transparency, fully integrated care, balancing risk against reward and providing timely availability of data. It adds CMMI should guard against fragmentation, account for risk adjustment, be wary of regulatory burden and demolish barriers to clinical integration and care coordination.

2. The American Medical Informatics Association believes CMMI should offer "innovation support, not simply financial support, to transform care delivery." AMIA recommends CMMI consider models and pilots that promote and optimize informatics tools and capabilities to support patient care, as well as evaluate application requirements across models to ensure they leverage informatics.

3. The American Telemedicine Association recommends CMMI allow state Medicaid to cover those eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. To this end, CMS could "fully explore consumer-directed, technology-enabled, site-neutral tools of care to meet growing healthcare delivery challenges."

4. The EHR Association warns against adding more EHR regulations that may over-burden physicians and organizations. "[T]he Association encourages CMS to collaboratively engage with health IT developers to ensure that the technology we are delivering to providers aligns with the needs of the models."

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