Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Very Brief Blog: CMS Innovation Center Official Kills Part B Drug Demo; HHS Offers Public Its 4-Year Strategy

CMS has officially and finally withdrawn the "Part B Drug Demo" proposed in spring 2016 under the Obama administration.  Demonstrating the breadth and power of CMMI's authority to conduct demonstrations, the demo would have been national in scope, extended for years into the future, and substantially changed drug payment rules which are otherwise set by statute.   The withdrawal is online at Federal Register here; here article at Axios, here.  It's an official withdrawal after the review of 1350 public comments.  The withdrawal was signed by Tom Price on August 25.

CMS is currently seeking comments on ways it can renovate and redirect the Innovation Center; see here.

Separately, HHS has published a 65-page PDF on its four-year plan, 2018-2022, which is required by the 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).  The website is here.  Coverage at Politico noticed the upshoot in references to unborn life and to religiously affiliated organizations.  I read it this way: wherever the phrase "community organizations" would appear, it's been written as "^faith-based and other  community organizations."  OK.   The 2014-2018 prior HHS plan is still archived online, here.  Most of these plans don't have much firm content.  There are five strategic priorities, each of which has about five sub priorities that each have several bullet points.  (It's bullet point nirvana.)  For example, there is a bullet point that HHS has a goal to control inflation of health insurance including both insurance costs and out of pocket payments.  It's a clearly stated goal; but that's the whole thing, the goal, don't seek an explanation of the means or the plan.   Comment is open til October 23.

Human Rights Campaign also noted that the plan deleted references to LGBT issues (here).  As of October 2017, however, the HHS website did have a general LDBT health and wellness section (here; cloud archive here.)


For an online copy of the 122-page HHS transition plan from the Obama to the Trump administrations, dated November 2016, online at HHS here; cloud copy here.