Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Representing the 7th District of Alabama
 

Reps. Sewell, Smith Lead Bipartisan Push to Increase CMMI Transparency and Public Engagement

Jun 3, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Adrian Smith (NE-03), led a bipartisan group of 24 Members of Congress in a letter urging the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to increase transparency and public engagement, especially pertaining to the scope and duration of demonstration projects. The letter’s goal is to ensure that CMMI is reaching its full potential in reducing health care costs, addressing health disparities, and improving the quality of care delivered for beneficiaries.

CMMI, also known as the “Innovation Center,” was created under the Affordable Care Act and is tasked with designing, testing, and implementing new health care delivery systems and payment models that lower costs and improve outcomes in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). 

“The Innovation Center is a critical tool in improving the quality and efficiency of our health care system, especially for rural and underserved communities where innovation is made more difficult by limited resources,” said Rep. Sewell. “I am proud to lead this bipartisan push to increase the Innovation Center’s transparency and public engagement and ensure that it is delivering on its promise of value-based health care focused on positive outcomes.”

“Innovation is key in health care, and CMMI has an important role in improving health care delivery for the future,” said Rep. Smith, lead Republican co-signer. “However, for such innovation to take place we also need transparency and accountability from CMMI, which is why this letter urges CMMI to increase public engagement and participation and provide more detailed plans to enhance its models.”

The CMMI model development process has, at times, been opaque to Congress and stakeholders. Its statutory requirement to gather input from interested parties has not always been observed and CMMI demonstrations are less effective than they could be given the lack of this external expertise. The letter requests that CMMI increase transparency in all its processes and put greater reliance on the use of present data to immediately understand the impact of models on healthcare providers and patients. 

View the full letter here.

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