What We're Reading: Medicare for All Plan; Primary Care Payment Model; Tri-Agency Task Force for Public Health Emergencies

House Democrats are expected to introduce a Medicare for All bill today; CMS' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is planning to unveil a new payment model for primary care physicians; and CMS, CDC, and FDA have established a task force to improve future responses to public health emergencies.

House Democrats to Release Medicare for All Bill

House Democrats are expected to introduce a Medicare for All bill today that would create a new federally financed health system. According to The Wall Street Journal, under the Medicare for All Act of 2019, the federal government would provide health coverage for every American, expanding the Medicare program to include younger Americans and replacing Medicaid for low-income and disabled people and most employer-sponsored coverage. Employers and private insurers would be prohibited from providing benefits or selling coverage that duplicates benefits, but they would be allowed to offer supplemental coverage.

CMMI to Launch Payment Model for Primary Care

Adam Boehler, the director of CMS’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, is expected to unveil a new payment model for primary care physicians in the coming weeks, reported STAT News. The voluntary payment model may strongly encourage physicians to use more modern methods, including telehealth and online consultations, to care for patients in their home and keep them out of the hospital.

Tri-Agency Task Force Established for Public Health Emergencies

Members from CMS, CDC, and FDA have established the Tri-Agency Task Force to collaborate on future emergency diagnostic needs with the goal of improving responses to public health emergencies. During a public health emergency, the task force will convene to provide recommendations to laboratories for rapidly implementing in vitro diagnostic assays, according to an FDA press release.