Catherine Rampell’s Dec. 2 op-ed, “Keep this part of Obamacare,” told half the story. Yes, the Medicare “Innovation Center” created under Obamacare appears to be doing some good work. But it also is in serious need of changes to protect patients. The Innovation Center created significant (if unintended) risks with some models that patients identified as going too far and driving “one-size-fits-all” care in stark contradiction of the nation’s drive to develop targeted therapies under the Precision Medicine Initiative and Cancer Moonshot.
We all want health care to pay for value and not volume, but the real question is value for whom? While we applaud the Food and Drug Administration and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for engaging patients to understand their experience with treatments, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Office has been far more focused on engaging academic experts to develop payment models that drive standardized care as if all patients are average. The Innovation Center may be worth keeping. But make changes to get it out of the ivory tower and give patients a meaningful voice in its work.