CMS will refocus and redouble its efforts on health equity and whole-person health outcomes as the Biden administration evaluates ongoing and potential programs and initiatives, CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said during an Aug. 12 webcast hosted by Health Affairs. During her remarks, she also hinted that the agency is interested in ensuring a level playing field between fee-for-service Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) — which is now 10 years old — has refreshed its strategy to focus on equity along with value-based care and person-centered care, Brooks-LaSure explained. She and other CMS officials laid out their CMMI strategy in a Health Affairs blog post published the same day as the webcast.

One of the core equity issues CMS can address is access to coverage, Brooks-LaSure said. CMS also has focused on maternal health, she said, specifically on a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act that gives all states the option to extend the postpartum coverage period under Medicaid from 60 days following pregnancy to a full year: “One of the things we’re really excited to do is really encourage our states to pick that option up.”

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