April 24, 2018
HHS Takes New Steps in Secretary Azar’s Value-Based Agenda
On Tuesday, HHS’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the draft Fiscal Year 2019 Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, which contains proposals to advance HHS Secretary Alex Azar’s agenda for moving to a healthcare system that pays for value, as well as a request for information regarding future value-based reforms.
Secretary Azar issued the following statement:
“America’s healthcare system has to change, and President Trump’s Administration recognizes that. This payment proposal takes important steps toward a Medicare system that puts patients in charge of their care and allows them to receive the quality and price information needed to drive competition and increase value.
“The rule also solicits feedback on further bold actions, which will be necessary to disrupt our existing system and deliver real value for healthcare consumers. Through boosting interoperability and maximizing the promise of health IT, promoting price and quality transparency, pioneering new models, and removing government burdens, we are going to move toward a system that provides better care for Americans at a lower cost.”
CMS’s proposed policy changes include:
- Requiring hospitals to post their standard list of prices on the Internet and in a machine-readable format, rather than just being required to make them available in some form
- Focusing the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program on promoting interoperability, to allow patients to control their records and access them in a usable format
- Eliminating duplicative. overly burdensome, or out-of-date quality measures through the “Meaningful Measures” initiative
CMS also issued a Request for Information soliciting comment on new ways to:
- Stop “surprise billing” by providers
- Provide patients better information up front about the out-of-pocket costs they will face
- Encourage further transparency from providers, including providing tools for comparing prices and making public which institutions are out of compliance with transparency measures
- Push providers reimbursed by Medicare to take more steps in making their electronic health records interoperable
The Tuesday announcement follows Monday’s announcement about other steps in Secretary Azar’s value-based agenda, including CMS’s publishing of public comments regarding a new direction for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation and the announcement of a new Request for Information on direct provider contracting: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2018-Press-releases-items/2018-04-23.html
For more on Secretary Azar’s vision for value-based care, click here or visit: https://www.hhs.gov/about/leadership/secretary/speeches/2018-speeches/remarks-on-value-based-transformation-to-the-federation-of-american-hospitals.html?new.