The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is working on some new valued-based payment models and rural health initiatives, Administrator Seema Verma told participants at a CMS quality conference yesterday. “CMS will be offering new opportunities for providers to accept higher levels of risk, and also new financial models that ease providers into value-based agreements,” Verma said. “The new financing arrangements will be applied to primary care as well as different disease states and types of providers. It will focus on preventing the progression of disease and increasing quality of life. We will start with some of our most challenging, complex areas, like end stage renal disease, cancer and other serious illnesses.” Verma said the agency also “is thinking about how we can adjust our wage index formula to avoid exacerbating the already stark disparities between urban and rural providers,” and “exploring a new rural demonstration that will assist local communities in designing a better system of care while improving access, quality and sustainability through more value-based payment design.”
 

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