The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has missed the reporting deadlines, some of them mandated by Congress, for at least nine other payment-reform experiments — and, in many cases, won’t even say how late the agency is. Nor will CMS say when the data will be revealed….CMS isn’t just sitting on the results. In some cases, it has barred the hospitals and health-care systems that took part in the projects from discussing what effect these experiments have had on costs. It has also instructed some health groups not to discuss future projects.
Initial reports have been released for several of the nine programs the piece lists, but final, comprehensive reports that analyze all the data after the program has ended haven’t been. In other words, the main cost-control experiment we do have data on isn’t going so well, and the results of other Medicaid programs aren’t available either because of inefficiency or because the powers that be don’t want them to be known.This news points to a continuing trend of legal end-runs, delays, and information poverty that has characterized federal health care experiments, culminating in the botched ACA implementation. More and more it seems like Peggy Noonan’s words in a recent WSJ blog post are correct: “This thing looks now like one large hitch, one big and never ending bump.” We bet Obamacare ultimately will be neither as good as it supporters wish nor as bad as its most vocal detractors insist. But the road to full implementation is looking rockier every day.