The CMS official overseeing a controversial Medicare insurance pilot program told a congressional panel that he has seen anecdotal evidence that it is working. But that evidence is based “not on a scientific model.”
Jonathan Blum, director of the Center for Medicare at the CMS, testified Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about an $8.3 billion demonstration program—by far the largest in the agency's history—for Medicare Advantage insurance plans. He was responding to the conclusion of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office that the program lacked statutory authority and basic design elements to achieve its goals of improved quality and lower costs to Medicare. The demonstration aims to test whether its system of bonus payments to insurance plans yields larger and faster quality improvement than would have occurred otherwise.