HHS secretary nominee Alex Azar indicated during a Senate Finance Committee hearing he may be more receptive to mandatory payment models, including cardiac bundles, than former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD.
Price, who resigned in September, previously canceled two mandatory bundled payment models—Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive model. CMS later solicited comments and said it anticipated announcing voluntary payment bundles.
Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive, said during the Senate hearing he would support using mandatory models through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation in some cases.
“I believe that we need to be able to test hypotheses,” he said. “I want to be a reliable partner. I want to be a collaborative in doing this. I want to be transparent and follow appropriate procedures. But if to test a hypothesis around changing our healthcare system it needs to be mandatory as opposed to voluntary to get adequate data, then so be it.”
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