The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act establishes a new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The center is intended to enhance the CMS’s role in promoting much-needed improvements in payment and service delivery. Lessons from the Medicare Health Support Program, a chronic care pilot program that ran between 2005 and 2008, illustrate the value of drawing on experience in planning for the center and future pilot programs.
The lessons include the importance of strong leadership; collaboration and flexibility to foster innovation; receptivity of beneficiaries to care management; and the need for timely data on patients’ status. The lessons also highlight pitfalls to be avoided in planning future pilot programs, such as flawed strategies for selecting populations to target when testing payment and service delivery reforms.