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Responsive Government — Requests for Information Now Regular Order for HHS

May 24, 2018

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) issued a recent Request for Information (RFI) proposal to adopt a new direct provider contracting model. This would allow individual physicians and individual patients to enter into agreements for health care services.

While I could talk all day about the relationship between patients, payers, and health care providers, I mention this proposal to point out one of the most surprising things about the Trump Administration. In the health care arena at least, executive branch officials have been genuinely receptive to public feedback and have been regularly soliciting input from the public since the early days of this administration.

In all of the major proposed Medicare payment rules last year, and those issued to-date this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has included RFIs to seek additional insight into policy areas the agency is considering and changes it is exploring. These RFIs have been in addition to separate RFIs issued by CMMI, the entity responsible for exploring new payment and delivery models of care. This universal seeking of public input has been unprecedented and welcomed by individuals, companies, and organizations across the political spectrum.

The willingness of some in the Trump Administration to seek input and then listen to what others have to say is laudable. Not every issue can be improved by feedback, but this newfound ability to incorporate public sentiment where possible bodes very well for our government and for better policy.