CMS: (1/19) - CMMI published a blog on the Geographic Direct Contracting Model and its potential to improve population health. The model is designed to ensure that every beneficiary has an entity accountable for their health care cost and quality. By making geography the unit of change and enabling care transformation for an entire community, CMMI hopes the Geo model will improve the quality of health care delivered to the people within it.
CMS: (1/19) - CMS released the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus third annual evaluation report and associated materials. CPC+ practices continued to use the substantial supports CMS, payer partners, and health IT vendors provided to make important changes in care. There were only a few small favorable effects on service use and quality-of-care measures for Medicare FFS beneficiaries, while total Medicare expenditures including enhanced payments increased.
CMS: (1/19) - CMS noted in the Paving the Way to Equity: A Progress Report from 2015 to 2021 that CMS will continue to promote and expand upon its current efforts to support providers in small practices, and those in rural and underserved areas, through the Quality Payment Program as they transition to Advanced Alternative Payment Methodologies and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, as well as through other CMS payment systems and models.
HHS: (1/15) - HHS announced changes to the reporting timeline for the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) due to the recent passage of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. PRF recipients will now be required to submit their reporting requirements on their use of these funds later than previously announced, but can begin registering for gateway access to the Reporting Portal where they will submit their information in compliance with new reporting requirements.
CMS: (1/15) - CMS released HHS Secretary Azar’s response to the Physician-Focused Payment Models (PFPMs). The Secretary is required to review the comments and recommendations submitted by the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) and post a detailed response to these recommendations.
CMS: (1/15) - CMS released the Geographic Direct Contracting Model Request for Applications (RFA) and associated materials. CMS expects to accept applications for Geo from March 1 – April 2, 2021. CMS has identified ten target regions for this Request for Applications.The RFA can be found here.
CMS: (1/13) - CMS released the Performance Year 4 (2019) partial financial and quality results for the Next Generation ACO Model. CMS plans to release full PY 2019 results in the spring of 2021 once CMS has completed financial settlement for PY 2019 for all ACOs.
CMS: (1/13) - CMS released its “Putting Patients First: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Record of Accomplishments from 2017-2020” report, which examines CMS’ accomplishments over the past four years and how the agency furthered its Four Core Goals identified in 2017. The report also highlights 16 strategic initiatives that resulted in major regulatory actions, changes in guidance, and streamlined processes and procedures – including the reorganization of CMS.
NEJM: (1/13) – CMMI Director Brad Smith published an article providing a 10-year retrospective on CMMI. While noting the importance of experimenting and aiming to improve value-based care, Smith noted that most models have not achieved sufficient savings nor improved quality largely due to program design features. He highlights lessons learned over the past decade and eight recommendations for CMMI moving forward.
HHS: (1/11) - HHS awarded over $8 million to fund the Telehealth Broadband Pilot (TBP) program. The TBP program assesses the broadband capacity available to rural health care providers and patient communities to improve their access to telehealth services.
HHS: (1/11) - HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) issued a blog highlighting the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) recently approved report and set of recommendations developed by the Intersection of Clinical and Administrative Data (ICAD) Task Force. The final fifteen recommendations support HHS’ priority to reduce the burden of clinical documentation.