“Transformation driven by a tide of grassroots innovation mojo has already begun”

Rick Gilfillan Director of CMS Innovation Center opened his speech with the declaration, “its a wonderful time to be in health care and to be a health care innovator.” He defined innovators broadly, calling on all business people, investors, entrepreneurs, health care providers and patients who have the passion, creativity and courage to help America achieve better health, better care and reduce costs.

Already the CMS Innovation Center has been testing and piloting new models of care delivery involving both technology and business model innovation in sites across the country. Examples? Primary care demonstration sites at federally qualified health centers in 44 states, a new focus on dual eligibles, bundled payments for care, pioneer ACOs, the Innovation Advisors Program, the Million Hearts Initiative, partnership for Patients, among more…

These sites are simultaneously laboratories for the development of best-practices as well as demonstration projects to show our country what is possible when providers and payers begin thinking about care provision differently.

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, followed Rick Gilfillan and underscored the importance of data access in achieving CMS’s three-fold goals of better health, better care, and lower costs. He provided four examples of how HHS is helping stakeholders to access, analyze and use data to drive innovation while respecting and rigorously protecting beneficiary information:

1. Blue Button Initiative: Over 500,000 vets, military personnel and Medicare beneficiaries have used this technology to download electronic copies of their own health information. The private sector is now following suit with insurers and HCOs offering their own blue button analogs.
2. Pioneer ACOs: CMS is providing ACOs with claims data on participating patients so that they can benchmark their performance and pinpoint gaps in care.
3. Physicians: Claims data for qualified public / private sector companies will help them assess physician practice patterns and assess provider performance.
4. HHS health indicators warehouse: Community-level health data will help communities assess the health status of their constituents and identify areas for intervention.

He concluded: “There is no problem that Americans can’t invent themselves out of…Transformation driven by a tide of grassroots innovation mojo has already begun.”

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