Innovative, affordable, and accountable care are the key to transforming the healthcare system to achieve health equity, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center’s 10-year plan, which the center announced on August 12, 2021.

Created in 2010 out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the innovation center works to build a more value-based system that reduces spending while preserving or enhancing quality of care, in 2010. The innovation center has launched models that helped to coordinate care for patients across care settings and address barriers from social determinants of health.

In developing its next 10-year plan, the innovation center reviewed its achievements over the past decade. The key takeaways indicated that equity remains at the forefront for every model developed in the future and that the center needs to evaluate financial incentives for future models.

Based on the findings, the innovation center created five strategic objectives:

  • Drive accountable care.
  • Advance health equity.
  • Support innovation.
  • Address affordability.
  • Partner to achieve system transformation.

Through its new strategic plan, the innovation center will work to achieve equitable outcomes in health care through high-quality, affordable, person-centered care. It says that the goal is to meet people where they are and coordinate care “seamlessly and holistically across settings.”

“CMS is considering whether and how current models meet the needs of underserved populations and where we could strengthen these approaches, and we are prioritizing potential new models based on their ability to achieve our refreshed vision,” agency leaders Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Elizabeth Fowler, Meena Seshamani, and Daniel Tsai said in a blog post. “Strong partnerships between the innovation center and our Medicare and Medicaid components and their policy development teams are particularly important in this process. Moreover, it will be important to ground innovations as part of a continuum of care delivery and payment, moving from fee-for-service to the most innovative approaches to drive higher-quality, lower-cost care.”

Universal health care is a right for all people, and all patients should have equal access to the care they need. ONS members can find resources to further advocate for all patient populations and communities through the ONS Center for Advocacy and Health Policy, the Oncology Nursing Podcast, and ONS Voice.