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Medicare & Medicaid Changing Focus to Outcome-Based Measures

October 30, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin focusing on outcome-based measures going forward, as opposed to trying to micromanage processes, according to Administrator Seema Verma.

The agency aims to increase efforts to streamline quality measures, reduce regulatory burden, and promote innovation during a plenary session at the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN) Fall Summit in Arlington, Virginia. 

“We need to move from fee-for-service to a system that pays for value and quality – but how we define value and quality today is a problem,” said Administrator Verma. “We all know it: Clinicians and hospitals have to report an array of measures to different payers. There are many steps involved in submitting them, taking time away from patients. Moreover, it’s not clear whether all of these measures are actually improving patient care.” 

 

Administrator Verma announced a new approach to quality measurement, called “Meaningful Measures.” Meaningful Measures will involve only assessing those core issues that are most vital to providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes. The agency aims to focus on outcome-based measures going forward, as opposed to trying to micromanage processes. 

Additional agency efforts that Administrator Verma highlighted include:

  • CMS is moving the Innovation Center in a new direction that will promote greater flexibility and patient engagement.

  • CMS is implementing the Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in a way that minimizes the burden and costs providers face in meeting the requirements. 

“Our overall vision is to reinvent the agency to put patients first,” Administrator Verma said during her address. “We want to partner with patients, providers, payers and others to achieve this goal.” 

Administrator Verma emphasized the agency’s aim to listen and be responsive to healthcare stakeholders by having federal policies be guided by the needs of those on the front line serving patients. 

The Administrator’s remarks come a few days after the public launch of the agency’s “Patients Over Paperwork” Initiative, a cross-cutting, collaborative process that evaluates and streamlines regulations with a goal to reduce unnecessary burden, increase efficiencies, and improve the beneficiary experience. Administrator Verma was joined by 35 provider associations and organizations for that earlier launch, including the American Hospital Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and LeadingAge -- an organization that represents the field of aging services. Through the launch of the Patients Over Paperwork Initiative, CMS, along with its partners and stakeholders, emphasized its commitment to removing regulatory obstacles that get in the way of providers spending time with patients. 

The Administrator’s remarks at the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (LAN) Fall Summit are available by clicking HERE.


 

 

 

 

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