Berwick praises upcoming Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation

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The planned Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMI) has the potential to be the “jewel in the crown” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Donald M. Berwick, administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said this week.

The CMI, which the healthcare reform law establishes, will be dedicated to testing innovative approaches to improving healthcare delivery, payment and quality. It is expected to be in place by January 2011. Its goal is lowering healthcare costs while increasing quality, the Bureau of National Affairs reported. The reform law offers $5 billion in start-up funds for the CMI, and $10 billion over 10 years for new demonstration projects and pilot programs.

Atop the list of improvements Berwick would welcome include reduced incidence of pressure sores with bedridden patients and fewer cases of hospital-acquired superbugs such as MRSA. Berwick hopes the CMI will provide seamless, coordinated care, especially for people with chronic illnesses, according to BNA.

Berwick spoke at a forum sponsored by the Brookings Institution. Brookings released a white paper in conjunction with the forum.

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