Dec 17 2012
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) released the following statements today regarding a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the implementation of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. After an examination of the center’s operations, GAO found specific areas of duplication and recommended CMS adopt mechanisms to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. The Innovation Center is a product of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
“The GAO’s analysis reveals the new ‘Innovation Center’ largely duplicates other offices within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As I have previously warned, I believe the Center will be a waste of $10 billion in taxpayer funds. This Orwellian-named structure was part of a health care law that punted on payment reform instead of adopting proven solutions to coordinate care and lower costs. A transparent market that is driven by competition and choice, in which doctors and patients are in charge, is much more adept at accelerating innovation, lowering costs, and improving outcomes than another duplicative bureaucratic experiment in Washington,” said Dr. Coburn.
“Making sure that two agencies are not doing the work of one is common sense. It is important to curtail spending and avoid duplicate programs so that costs closely match projected estimates. The federal government is not known for being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. We will continue to closely monitor the work of the Innovation Center,” said Sen. Enzi.
“As GAO makes clear, there are several areas where this Center and CMS are duplicating their efforts. This is inefficient and wasteful. Since we won’t know the true value of most of these projects for another three years, this report raises serious questions on whether this is really a good use of $10 billion in taxpayer dollars,” Sen. Hatch said.
Dr. Coburn has previously warned about the Innovation Center's waste. In March 2012, he issued a report entitled Warning: Side Effects with fellow physician and Senator, Dr. Barrasso (R-WY). Concerns about the Innovation Center are listed on pages 27-29.