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02.24.2022 / Statement

Families USA’s Isasi: To keep families healthy, direct contracting needs to be responsive to consumers’ needs

WASHINGTON, DC – Families USA executive director Frederick Isasi issued the following statement today on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ announcement about the future of the direct contracting program:

“Anyone who has had to get health care in America knows that our current system is broken. Families across this nation need CMMI to continue its hard work of aligning the financial incentives in health care so that corporate health care interests thrive only when the patients they treat thrive. Period. Let’s learn lessons from the direct contracting model while keeping our eyes on the ultimate goal. Today’s announcement is a solid step in that direction.

“We must reimagine and build a country where health care’s purpose is to help us live our healthiest life, not padding providers’ and insurance companies’ bottom lines. Paying providers based on how many tests they order or how long treatment lasts makes health care unaffordable and in the very worst cases, flat out ignores patients’ needs, leaving serious illnesses untreated and even harming patients.

“The same old way of doing things has put up barriers to low-income and communities of color getting care and it needs to stop. These out-of-whack financial incentives are a major reason why too many people cannot afford to get any care at all. Providers should be responsive to the needs of patients, not their bottom line. All families in this nation need the Biden administration to continue to focus on new ways of paying for care that strengthen Medicare and ensure seniors are getting the very best care possible — that’s never going to happen in fee-for-service health care.”

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Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.