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Capitol Correspondence - 02.23.21

Biden Announces Pick for Head of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

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ANCOR has followed initiatives from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), an agency within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), because it has the ability to develop reforms to payment models. During the Trump Administration, CMMI caught ANCOR’s attention by signaling a strong interest in shifting to value-based payment models. We will continue to monitor CMMI under the Biden Administration to get a sense of its goals and whether they could have broader ramifications for the disability community. In the meantime, we share this reporting by Politico Pro on incoming new leadership at CMMI:

“The Biden administration has picked Obamacare veteran Liz Fowler to lead the high-profile CMS office charged with testing new health care ideas, according to two sources familiar.

Fowler, who helped craft and implement the Affordable Care Act, will head an office created by the 2010 health care law that wields power over how health care is funded and delivered.

Under the Trump administration, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation crafted numerous experiments, including ways of incentivizing kidney transplants and at-home dialysis and overhauling Medicare payment for emergency care. However, the administration’s ambitious plans to test drug pricing reforms through the office never got off the ground.

Most recently, Fowler has served as an executive vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit foundation focused on health care. During Obamacare’s drafting, Fowler was the chief health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, where much of the final law was written. She later worked at HHS to help implement the ACA before departing for the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in her career, she worked for the health insurer Wellpoint, which is now Anthem.

[…]

The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation, meaning Fowler could soon join the center and occupy one of the highest-ranking political positions inside CMS. […]

The Biden administration hasn’t laid out plans for CMMI, but it could use the office to pursue its own set of drug pricing reforms, as well as other efforts to expand health care and drive down the sky-high cost of care.”