Defunding could gut CMS's new innovation center

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CMS's new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI) faces an uncertain future, according to Inside Health Reform.

While CMS Administrator Donald Berwick has described the innovation center as the "jewel in the crown" of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the center's funding could be jeopardized by the recent GOP wins in Congress.

Republican leaders who were less than thrilled by the health reform have promised to try to de-fund its implementation. The $10 billion set aside for the innovation center makes it easy pickings.

The CMI, which is an outgrowth of the health reform, will test innovative approaches to improving healthcare delivery, payment and quality. Its overarching goal is to lower healthcare costs while improving quality. It is slated to launch in January 2011.

A $5 million budget in FY 2010 will help the center start up. For now, the $10 billion budget will be used from 2011 to 2019 to test better ways of delivering care. According to American Medical News, the center will aim to root out unnecessary services and treatments and develop better therapies to address chronic diseases, medical errors and safety concerns.

To learn more:
- see the  Brookings Institute white paper on the center
- read the Inside Health Reform piece
- here's the American Medical News article
- read the McKnight's story

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