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Encouraging News for C-TAC and Serious Illness from CMMI’s New Strategy

CMMI just released a white paper and webinar detailing their past learnings and 5 strategic objectives for advancing and driving health system transformation in the future:

Encouragingly, many of these new strategies align with C-TAC’s priorities and will help improve the care of those living with serious illness. Here’s more on how:

  • Health equity: This must be embedded in every model going forward and span model development, implementation, beneficiary enrollment and participation, and model outcomes and payment. C-TAC has long supported correcting the current inequity in healthcare and CMMI’s requirement will help build an infrastructure for demographic and other important beneficiary information and quality measures for other programs to also adopt.
  • Person-centered care: Although to many a common phrase, CMMI and CMS have renewed their commitment to making care for beneficiaries as person-centered as possible. To C-TAC that means developing systems and infrastructure that focus on assessing what matters  most to beneficiaries and their families, promoting shared decision making and patient/family engagement, and rewarding providers for delivering care in line with the goals and preferences of their patients.
  • Streamlined portfolio: While CMMI’s model portfolio must be streamlined to reduce complexity and overlap, their increased focus on population health will highlight the importance of improving care for serious illness. C-TAC had already anticipated this streamlining and drafted core principles, see below, to help CMMI, and CMS, make any model providing care for those with serious illness more effective.
  • Integration of social services: We all see the need and benefit of providing social services since social determinants of health are such a big factor in health care outcomes and utilization. CMMI is now proposing more tools be provided to support transformation in care delivery and assist providers in assuming financial risk, as participation in models has historically resulted in significant infrastructure investments. Encouragingly for those with serious illness, community-based organizations are specifically identified as partners and providers for models.
  • Palliative and other supportive care: It is very promising that palliative care and a more holistic approach to patient care is specifically referenced in CMMI’s new strategy. C-TAC continues to advocate for such holistic, team-based care for those with serious illness.
  • Accountable care: CMMI is quite clear that they will use models to shift to value-based and accountable care payment arrangements that focus on controlling total cost of care. C-TAC strongly supports this shift and has long been a member of their Learning Action Network, LAN, and is already advocating that social services and other community-based supports be included as part of total cost of care.

We have released our new Core Principles for Models with Serious Illness Populations which align with CMMI’s new strategy. With the development of these principles comes a new “model for models” that serve people living with serious illness. To learn about our core principles, click here.

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