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HHS Plans to Spend Up to $7B to Find Ways to Reduce Costs Under Obamacare

2:44 PM, Nov 20, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
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The Department of Health and Human Services revealed on Wednesday a plan to spend up to $7 billion to find ways to reduce spending under the Affordable Care Act while maintaining or improving the quality of health care.  The solicitation for bids for this wide-ranging project appeared today on the Federal Business Opportunities website:

The purpose is to develop a Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design, and Analysis (RMADA) IDIQ [Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity] to respond to expanded needs of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT (ACA) and Health Care reform ACT (HCERA). The work awarded under the RMADA will involve the design, implementation and evaluation of a broad range of research and/or payment and service delivery models to test their potential for reducing expenditures for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and uninsured beneficiaries while maintaining or improving quality of care.

While the contract is to be an IDIQ contract, meaning that the quantity of work is variable and therefore the price to be paid is not fixed, documents accompanying the contract indicate the maximum is set at $7 billion over the life of the contract:

While HHS has contracted out such research and modeling work before, the documents suggest that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has added a new element to this type of project:

The need for analyses based on real time claims and utilization data is a unique factor that distinguishes today’s evaluation of models as opposed to prior demonstrations... Furthermore, because Innovation Center models often include collaboration among multiple payers and other entities, the current evaluation approaches will need to account for the need to gather, coordinate, and analyze private payer and other private data sources. In addition, evaluations involving other entities, such as payers, should plan to examine the role of CMS as a convener and how the model is received by both participating and non-participating affected parties.

Interested parties have until January 14, 2014 to respond. 

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