CMS demonstration project to reinvent health-care delivery

January 1, 2006

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting another new demonstration project that is being called the next generation in pay-for-performance programs. The 5-year Medicare Health Care Quality Demonstration project grants physicians and large, integrated health systems "unprecedented flexibility in reshaping how they provide, coordinate—and get paid for—medical care," according to Modern Healthcare (10/31/05). It's hoped that the demonstration project will find creative ways to reduce costs, boost quality of care, and revamp the physician-patient relationship.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting another new demonstration project that is being called the next generation in pay-for-performance programs. The 5-year Medicare Health Care Quality Demonstration project grants physicians and large, integrated health systems "unprecedented flexibility in reshaping how they provide, coordinate-and get paid for-medical care," according to Modern Healthcare (10/31/05). It's hoped that the demonstration project will find creative ways to reduce costs, boost quality of care, and revamp the physician-patient relationship.

While other CMS demonstration projects have specific guidelines and goals, this new demonstration plan offers few details and guidance. The intent is to allow providers to come up with "inventive, resourceful proposals." The project is expected to focus on managing chronic illnesses, involving patients in "shared decision-making" to reduce practice variations, providing incentives for managing chronic care rather than per-encounter, and using information technology to improve the quality of care.

Applications for the first round of approvals are due Jan. 30, 2006.