When asked about government’s influence and impact on healthcare, I like to cite my friend, former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael Leavitt, who says, “If you want to change healthcare you have to change Medicare.” Everybody else—the commercial insurers and the providers—will follow.
But changing Medicare is hard. As we’ve seen, even with control of Congress, President Biden’s grand plans for Medicare changes—lowering the eligibility age, creating a public option—have yet to see any movement.
However, one little-known agency in the vast Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) is wholly focused on this lofty goal: advancing change in our federal healthcare entitlement programs to reduce costs and improve quality. I’m speaking about the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, or CMMI.