Doctor speaking with older couple during COVID-19 pandemic

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is strongly emphasizing value-based care payments under President Joe Biden’s administration and might even consider making new models mandatory.

CMS’ Innovations (CMMI) Director Elizabeth “Liz” Fowler revealed Thursday the agency is looking at creating more value-based care models in a push to ensure payments remain focused on the patient’s care. 

“What we have learned from CMMI models over the past 10 years is that voluntary models [are] subject to risk selection, which has a negative impact on the ability to generate system-level savings,” Fowler said during a Health Affairs webinar late last week. 

“We are exploring more mandatory models,” she added. “Those come with disadvantages and those who follow what we are doing, you’ve seen the shift already. It started before I got here, but I support this direction.”

The transition to create more mandatory alternative payment models in the Medicare program to speed up the transition to value-based care isn’t a new idea. Under the Trump administration in 2019, CMS also hinted at making new payment models mandatory.

Fowler added that the goal is to ensure beneficiaries’ relationships with their care providers “includes meaningful accountability for quality and total cost of care.” 

“We are in the midst of the process,” Fowler said of the ongoing review. “We have a sense of where we want to go.”