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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden Administration is closely looking at how it can create health care payment models that benefit patients over providers, even if that means making them mandatory.

Driving the news: Liz Fowler, the innovation chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, signaled the Biden administration's commitment to value-based care models if they save money or not.

  • Over the past 10 years, CMMI has tested 54 models, but only five have been shown to save significant amounts of money and only two have been expanded nationally, Fowler said.

What she's saying: “"We are exploring more mandatory models. Those come with disadvantages and those who follow what we are doing, you've seen the shift already. It started before I got here, but I support this direction," Fowler said at an event hosted by Health Affairs on Thursday.

Context: Fowler was hired in March and has previously worked for HHS and helped draft and implement the Affordable Care Act. She was also the VP for global health policy at Johnson & Johnson.

Highlights

On drug pricing: The office is exploring the concepts around a favored nation drug pricing model, but Fowler said she is uncertain "that it will take form."

  • "Lowering prescription drug prices is a big priority for the Biden Administration. Having spent time in the industry, [I know] it is one of the most difficult things to tackle," she said.

On virtual care: CMMI sees telehealth as a way to help give patients better total cost of care, she said, but did not elaborate on details for reimbursement.

On health equity: Fowler said the office is focusing on better incorporating community-based organizations and social determinants of health, an overarching goal within HHS under the Biden administration.

  • “We need to look more closely at the impact of our interventions by race and ethnicity… this means including quality measures about social determinants.”

Go deeper

Texas governor moves to close shelters housing migrant children

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a disaster declaration that directs state child-care regulators to "take all necessary steps" to deny or discontinue within 90 days state licenses for any facilities that house migrant children.

Why it matters: The directive could force the relocation of 4,223 migrant children currently residing in state-licensed facilities in Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News reports.

Dozens missing after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: As many as 99 people are reported missing, Miami-Dade County's police director said, per the Miami Herald.

Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

President Biden announced Thursday that he had agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of ten senators, declaring: "We have a deal."

Why it matters: The agreement on the size and scope of an infrastructure package is a major achievement for Biden, who has long been a proponent of bipartisanship, but the compromise still faces serious hurdles in the House and Senate.

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