Bipartisan caucus aims to boost momentum toward innovation, value-based care

A bipartisan caucus launched by four U.S. representatives will support legislation that helps generate innovative, value-driven healthcare policies. Their push has drawn support from a diverse collaboration of healthcare stakeholders.

The recent political landscape regarding healthcare has revolved around repealing additional pieces of the Affordable Care Act and finding room in the budget for vital programs. Meanwhile, the transformation of the healthcare industry toward a value-oriented payment system has continued apace, with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stating his agency’s unequivocal support not only for continuing along that path, but for accelerating the pace of change where possible.

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Now, Reps. Mike Kelly (R.-Penn.), Ron Kind (D.-Wisc.), Markwayne Mullin (R.-Okla.) and Ami Bera, M.D., (D.-Calif.) have formed the bipartisan Health Care Innovation Caucus.

In their official announcement, the representatives stressed the need to maintain the rapid pace of change driven by the transformation from volume-based payment models to value-based ones. Their new group will promote legislation encouraging value-based policies, including innovative payment models and the new technologies that underlie them.

“Old and outdated payment models stand in the way of innovation and quality care,” said Mullin.

He said he hopes the caucus’ work will help ensure the federal government catalyzes medical innovation rather than frustrating it. Although payers have been investing heavily in value-based payment models, they have faced hurdles in the form of unpredictable regulatory oversight of insurance markets and uncertainty around return on investment.

Bera, who entered Congress following a two-decade medical career, said he hopes the caucus will allow for a bipartisan approach to “accelerating promising strategies to improve the health care system and ensure patients have access to cutting edge innovation.”

The effort received early praise from industry players, including the Health Care Transformation Task Force, which put out a statement expressing hope the new caucus will provide guidance toward “a sweeping revolution of the health care system.”