Most Results Still Pending for ACA Innovation Lab

The health law’s ambitious lab for transforming how medicine is delivered and financed submitted its official report card to Congress on Tuesday, boasting of a few early results but mostly showing many works in progress.

If you’re covered by Medicare, Medicaid or even private insurance, there’s a decent chance you’re part of one of the Department of Health and Human Services’ tests to improve care and control costs.

Some 2.5 million patients and more than 60,000 hospitals, clinics and doctors will soon be participating in models run by HHS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, the center estimated in its biennial report. 

Programs include “accountable care organizations” that pay based on quality and efficiency rather than the number of procedures; efforts to end preterm births; attempts to lower hospital readmissions for nursing-home patients; and large grants to states to change care for all consumers, including those covered by private insurance.

The level of participation is “huge,” Dr. Patrick Conway, a senior HHS official who runs the innovation center, said in an interview. “We are shifting the way we pay for care in the United States. We are paying for outcomes and value instead of volume.”

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