House bill pushes for more accountability in CMS innovation arm

A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Feb. 3 calls for more transparency and accountability in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the arm of CMS that creates payment models like ACOs and bundles.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., Adrian Smith, R-Neb., Tony Cárdenas, D-Calif., and John Shimkus, R-Ill.

"There is bipartisan agreement and recognition that, without additional guardrails and transparency, patient care could be compromised by even a well-intentioned experimental model," Mr. Shimkus said in a press release. "This legislation would help ensure the CMMI functions as Congress intended, with protections for both patients and providers."

The Strengthening Innovation in Medicare and Medicaid Act creates safeguards around CMMI by, among other provisions, outlining a way for Congress to fast-track disapproval of a payment model, creating more ways for the public to provide input, and requiring more input and collaboration from experts on the needs of underrepresented patient groups.

"The legislation we introduced today would safeguard the Center from implementing politically-driven or other policy changes made unilaterally by any administration that could be harmful to patients and providers," Ms. Sewell said in the press release.

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