WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) issuing a Request for Information (RFI) from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI):
“For years, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have voiced opposition to misguided, mandatory experiments in Medicare through CMMI that allowed Washington bureaucrats to make decisions behind closed doors that will impact Americans’ healthcare and providers’ ability to deliver care. I’m thrilled that Secretary Price and Administrator Verma have fundamentally changed course to return power back to patients and ultimately ensure the Innovation Center lives up to its name.
“The new guiding principles are based on stakeholder input, actual innovation, and voluntary models that wisely move away from the ‘Washington knows best’ ideology. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to ensure that CMMI — with appropriate guardrails — will result in lower costs and better outcomes for patients across America.
“Ways and Means members will continue to work to ensure that the Center follows these principles, and will work closely with HHS to make sure that feedback is thoroughly reviewed in each of the categories announced by CMS today.”
CMMI, which was created under the Affordable Care Act, has broad authority to test and evaluate innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures under Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP while preserving or enhancing the quality of care furnished under these programs. Under the previous Administration the authority was utilized at times in a top-down manner through mandatory, national ideas that received little to no input from those actually providing care to patients. These ideas resulted in bipartisan concern in Congress for both patients and stakeholders. CMMI is statutorily required to ensure any demonstration model which tests payment or service delivery specifically targets areas where deficits in care have been identified. CMMI is also prohibited from expanding a demonstration model until a careful analysis of the impact on quality of care, patient access, and spending has been completed. The Center has the ability to suspend certain statutory requirements to test such models, which could give Congress needed feedback on potential actions that would result in better outcomes and lower costs.