Wrapping up the CI Summit with a Health Affairs Chat

The Care Innovations Summit wrapped up with a fireside chat, and moderator Susan Dentzer observed that there hadn’t been much discussion about the Medicaid population throughout the day, even though the summit was co-hosted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dentzer asked Deputy Administrator Director of CMS Cindy Mann how innovation could play into the care of the Medicaid population.

Mann mentioned three major ways: experimentation (with payment rules and service delivery), peer to peer learning and data. Though she mentioned data last, she emphasized it the most.

“We need to be much more intentional about getting the data that we need to see what’s working, what’s not working,” Mann said.

But even before that, CMS needs to keep track of Medcaid beneficiaries even after they’ve left the system, she said. People can move out of the system quickly, as they might be offered employer-based coverage when they didn’t once have it. And with the Affordable Care Act, people who will be eligible to buy insurance through the health insurance exchanges will start getting their coverage there. Mann said that we’ll need systems that track data across different branches, so we can keep tabs on who’s covered and who isn’t.

“Only when people are having the coverage on a continual basis are we really able to concentrate on quality and improving care,” she said.

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