The top officials at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday, Jan. 11, made a major public statement regarding the goal of moving the healthcare system towards health equity, and a major component of that statement focused on leveraging Medicare’s value-based programs, particularly those focused on accountable care organizations (ACOs) to help drive change.
Writing in Health Affairs Forefront (formerly the Health Affairs Blog), Meena Seshamani, M.D., Ph.D., Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., J.D., and Chiquita Brooks-LaSure wrote of their desire to move forward into health equity, in their article, entitled “Building On The CMS Strategic Vision: Working Together For a Stronger Medicare.” Brooks-LaSure is CMS Administrator; Fowler is Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, called the CMS Innovation Center); and Seshamani is Deputy Administrator and Director at CMS. In the first paragraphs of their article, the three senior leaders write that “[W]e believe that Medicare can contribute to the meaningful, sustainable changes necessary in our health system to put the person at the center of care. Our goals for Medicare mirror Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure’s vision for CMS writ large: advance health equity; expand access to affordable coverage and care; drive high quality, person-centered care; and promote affordability and the sustainability of the Medicare trust funds. In this piece, we describe how we are furthering these goals and available opportunities to better align and partner across the health care system.”