GAO Report Documents Achievements by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

The U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) has met its goal of identifying, testing and improving new approaches to payment and delivery, according to a recently published review by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

“This is important, because a major goal of the Innovation Center is to reduce the growth of health care costs while promoting better health and health care quality across the delivery system,” observed Janet Heinrich, a research professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Prior to coming to GW, she worked as a senior advisor at CMMI.  “CMMI’s success at a time when federal spending on health care is set to top $1 trillion raises questions about the president’s proposal to slash $800 million from CMMI’s budget,” she adds.

CMMI was established in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act and became operational in November of that year. In keeping with its mission, the center has tested or is in the process of testing 37 new approaches to payment and delivery, known as models.  Based on its evaluations of these models, CMMI has recommended the expansion of two Medicare models that reduced costs and maintained or improved care quality. The evaluations also have helped the center improve new model design and operation. 

“The models recommended for expansion include the Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that have been expanded to the Next Generation ACOs and the YMCA of the USA Diabetes Prevention Program which is now available to Medicare beneficiaries across the country who are at risk of Type 2 diabetes.  Both programs have shown to produce savings and to improve quality of care for beneficiaries,” Heinrich said.