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CMMI Announces Second Batch of Health Care Innovation Awards; MedPAC Releases June 2012 Report

Posted on 6/18/2012 by NTOCC ® in Public Policy Updates

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) announced the second and final batch for the Health Care Innovation Awards funding opportunity. As a reminder, the Health Care Innovation Awards, authorized by the Affordable Care Act, will fund up to $1 billion in grants for projects that aim to improve care and lower costs for people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program, as well as enhance the health care workforce.

As with the first round of awards, the second round of 81 projects includes several focused on implementing strategies to improve care transitions and care coordination. Please find attached a detailed summary of the second round of projects funded by the Health Care Innovation Awards. For more information on the Health Care Innovation Awards, please click here.

In addition, last Friday the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June, 2012 semi-annual report to Congress. Of particular interest to NTOCC are the recommendations related to care coordination, in which the report states that “poor coordination of a patient’s care can result in repeat testing, inconsistent medical instructions, poor transitions between sites of care, and unnecessary use of higher intensity services and settings” and that “models to improve care coordination include physician practice transformation models to better deliver chronic care, care manager models, and models focusing on facilitating transitions between settings.” The report acknowledges that delivery reforms such as the formation of accountable care organizations, may lead to improve care coordination. However, MedPAC recommends that interim steps, such as creating “a per beneficiary payment or adding codes or modifying existing codes in the fee schedule that would allow practitioners to bill for care coordination activities” may be necessary.

Glen M. Hackbarth, Chairman of MedPAC, is set to testify in front of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee with regards to MedPAC’s June 2012 Report tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19th at 10:00 am ET.

To view a summary of the report, click here. To view the whole report, please click here.