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CMS Innovation Center Outlines Strategy for Next Decade

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) released a white paper outlining its strategy for the next decade to advance health system transformation.

The CMS Innovation Center was established in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act with the goal of transitioning the health care system to value-based care by developing and testing new models of care delivery in Medicare and Medicaid. In a recent Health Affairs‘ blog post, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure reflects on lessons learned since 2010 and the role her agency and the CMS Innovation Center should play in advancing health equity, improving quality, and lowering health care costs.

The goal of the CMS Innovation Center’s new strategy is to achieve equitable outcomes through high-quality, affordable, person-centered care. To achieve this goal, the CMS Innovation Center sets forth five objectives:

  • Drive accountable care by increasing the number of people in a care relationship with accountability for quality and total cost of care;
  • Advance health equity by embedding equity in every aspect of CMS Innovation Center models and increasing focus on underserved populations;
  • Support innovation through a variety of mechanisms, such as actionable data, technology, dissemination of best practices, peer-to-peer learning collaboratives, and payment flexibility;
  • Address affordability by examining strategies to address health care prices and affordability and reduce unnecessary or duplicative care; and
  • Partner to achieve system transformation by aligning priorities and policies across CMS and fully engaging payers, providers, states, and beneficiaries.

The white paper also acknowledges cross-model issues to address in future years, including health equity data collection, social determinants of health screening and referral, and risk adjustment.

Next steps in the strategy include engaging with stakeholders through listening sessions with beneficiaries, health equity experts, and safety net providers.

The CMS Innovation has compiled an FAQ document with more information about its strategic direction.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a principal policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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