CMS Introduces Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services formally established this week a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, created by the Affordable Care Act. The Innovation Center will examine new ways of delivering healthcare and paying healthcare providers that can save money for Medicare and Medicaid while improving the quality of care. CMS also announced the launch of new demonstration projects that will support efforts to better coordinate care and improve health outcomes for patients.

“The Center will identify and test care models that provide beneficiaries with a seamless care experience, better health and lower costs,” said Richard Gilfillan, M.D, acting Innovation Center director. “By working together with innovative and committed providers we can create a system that works better for everyone. We want to identify, validate, and scale models that have been effective in achieving better outcomes and improving the quality of care, but may be relatively unknown.”

The Innovation Center will consult stakeholders across the healthcare sector including hospitals, doctors, consumers, payers, states, employers, advocates, relevant federal agencies, and others to obtain direct input on its operations and to build partnerships with those interested in its work. The organization will also test models that include establishing an “open innovation community” that serve as an information clearinghouse of best practices in healthcare innovation.

CMS also announced several new initiatives to strengthen primary care and better coordinate care for patients. The initiatives will test “health home” and “medical home” concepts.

The Innovation Center also announced an upcoming opportunity for states to apply for contracts to support development of new models aimed at improving care quality, care coordination, cost-effectiveness, and overall experience of beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as “dual eligibles.” The Innovation Center expects to award up to $1 million in design contracts to as many as 15 state programs for this work.

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