CMS' Innovation Center: Pilots Need One Year for Measurable Results

An HHS official said the agency's pilot programs for new healthcare delivery and payment models will take up to one year to produce results, according to a Reuters report.

Richard Gilfillan, MD, is the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. On Wednesday, he told the Senate Finance Committee that CMMI would be able to start sharing interim results with Congress within the year. Recommendations for payment or peer changes can be expected within the next two years, he said, according to the report.

But Dr. Gilfillan did said more "telling evidence" about CMMI models, including accountable care organizations, would be available this summer, according to a Politico report.

He did offer some early evidence that pilot programs like bundled payments and patient-centered medical homes may be helping to lower healthcare costs. In the final quarter of last year, hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries decreased to slightly below the threshold of 18.5 percent to 19.5 percent, which is where the readmission rate had sat for the past five years, according to the Politico report.

Dr. Gilfillan also said there is data suggesting CMMI's medical home program in Vermont is slowing the growth of healthcare costs, according to the Politico report.

Republican lawmakers have been keeping a close eye on CMMI, its $10 billion budget and how it is measuring results of its initiatives. Recently, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said CMMI projects are taking too long and are overlapping with other CMS efforts.

The senator also expressed concern that CMMI's budget is being put toward lavish office furnishings for staff, such as "very expensive treadmill desks."

More Articles on CMMI:

CMS' Innovation Center is Funding Staff Perks, Sen. Hatch Claims
CMS to Host Conference Call on State Innovation Models Initiative
HHS Awards Nearly $300M to Support States' Innovative Care Models

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