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Ways and Means Leaders Ask CMS to Increase Transparency, Reform Processes of Its Innovation Center

Earlier this week, House Ways and Means (W&M) Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking the agency to increase transparency in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) and “reform its processes to incorporate greater opportunity for public input as models are developed.”

In their letter, the W&M leaders stress the importance of a “transparent, public process” related to CMMI models, noting that the CMMI model development process has “historically been opaque to Congress and to stakeholders.” They also raise concerns about the fact that “CMMI rulemaking has been narrowed to topics that only include mandatory models” in recent years.

The Congressmen then ask CMS to provide specific information, including (1) CMMI models under “active consideration” by CMS, as well as the timeline for those models, how CMS will solicit input on models, and the rulemaking/comment period that will be provided; and (2) a description of how CMS will engage with Congress, stakeholders, and beneficiaries in finalizing future models.

The letter closes with a plea that CMS ensure that it “adheres to Congressional intent relating to CMMI” and “does not bypass Congress and the public to rewrite Medicare law for beneficiaries.” A response is requested by January 23, 2019.

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