News

Health Updates


Jul 16, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie Announce Health Subcommittee Hearing with CDC Center Directors

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) announced a Subcommittee hearing titled “Are CDC's Priorities Restoring Public Trust and Improving the Health of the American People?” “Of all the government agencies that have broken the public’s trust, the CDC is at the top the list. Unfortunately, the agency’s current priorities—like climate change and social determinants of health—do not instill confidence that the agency is focused on its core mission of improving public health and preventing the spread of diseases,” said Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie. “This hearing will give our Members an opportunity to hear directly from CDC officials on what steps the agency is taking to regain public trust and protect the health and wellbeing of the American people.”  Subcommittee on Health hearing titled "Are CDC's Priorities Restoring Public Trust and Improving the Health of the American People?"   WHAT : A hearing to discuss the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) priorities to ensure it is working to regain public trust and protect the health and wellbeing of the American people.  DATE : Tuesday, July 23, 2024  TIME : 10:30 AM ET  LOCATION : 2322 Rayburn House Office Building  WITNESSES :  Dr. Karen Hacker, M.D., M.P.H. , Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Dr. Allison Arwady, M.D., M.P.H. , Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Dr. Daniel Jernigan, M.D., M.P.H. , Director, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, M.D., M.P.H. , Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Dr. Henry Walke, M.D., M.P.H. , Director, Office of Readiness and Response, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   Dr. Jennifer Layden, M.D., Ph.D. , Director, Office of Public Health Data, Surveillance, and Technology, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Emma Schultheis with the Committee staff at Emma.Schultheis@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov .



Jul 9, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie Applaud Bipartisan National Plan to End Parkinson's Act Being Signed into Law

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) issued the following statement after H.R. 2365, the Dr. Emmanuel Bilirakis and Honorable Jennifer Wexton National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act , was signed into law: "This bipartisan legislation will help support research into prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options for patients with Parkinson’s disease, which an estimated one million Americans live with every day. It is a huge step forward for patients, their loved ones, and caretakers working to support those battling the disease,” said Chairs Rodgers and Guthrie. "We commend Reps. Gus Bilirakis and Paul Tonko for shepherding this legislation through the Energy and Commerce Committee, both chambers of Congress, and to the President’s desk.” Congressman Bilirakis also added, “I celebrate this important milestone in memory of my dear brother, other family members, and on behalf of all Americans who are still struggling with this debilitating disease. It takes a terrible toll on the physical, emotional and economic well-being of everyone involved. The lack of treatment options leave patients, families, and American taxpayers in a terrible quandary. We must change our approach to get better results, which is exactly what our legislation will do. It builds upon past successes and strives to replicate other national project models that have helped advance health care goals and treatment options. This critical legislation will provide hope to those who are suffering and hopefully lead to better patient outcomes with less expensive disease management. I thank my colleagues and the many patient advocates who helped us get the bill across the finish line!” H.R 2365 was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 47 – 0 on December 6, 2023. It passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 407 – 9 on December 14, 2023, and passed by the Senate unanimously on May 23, 2024. President Biden signed H.R. 2365, the Dr. Emmanuel Bilirakis and Honorable Jennifer Wexton National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act , into law on July 2, 2024. 



Jul 1, 2024
Press Release

E&C, Ways & Means, and Judiciary Chairs Demand Watchdogs Review After Report Exposes Widespread Fraud in Obamacare Plans

Washington, D.C. — In new letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General and Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller General, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Ways and Means Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-MO), and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) ask for systemic reviews of Obamacare enrollment to determine the breadth of improper enrollment and its underlying causes.  The letters come following the release of a paper from Paragon Health Institute, which estimates that four to five million people are improperly enrolled in fully-subsidized Obamacare plans at a cost of $15 to $26 billion per year to taxpayers.  KEY EXCERPT FROM THE LETTERS:   The Democrat-passed tax-and-spend laws resulted in tens of billions of additional taxpayer dollars being spent to prop up Obamacare plans by increasing subsidies given to insurance companies far above those originally authorized by Congress. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that making those subsidy levels permanent would add nearly $400 billion to the deficit on top of the hundreds of billions in existing Obamacare spending.  A key feature of this expansion increases subsidies for insurance companies such that the full cost of premiums for individuals with incomes between 100 and 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is paid for by American taxpayers, often referred to as “zero-premium” plans. This policy, coupled with the Biden administration's regulatory actions to eliminate program integrity controls in the federal exchanges, such as prohibiting key eligibility verification procedures, appears to have created both the incentive and opportunity for individuals and brokers to misstate enrollees’ income to place them in benchmark plans receiving the maximum subsidy.  Individuals enrolled in this income cohort nationwide exceed the total number of potentially eligible individuals. This problem appears to be particularly acute in certain states, with some reporting hundreds of thousands, and, in one case, millions more individuals enrolled in these plans than are reasonably likely to be eligible. More than half of all enrollees in the federal exchange now report incomes between 100 and 150 percent of FPL—notably higher than the historical average of roughly 40 percent—further demonstrating the breadth of the enrollment incongruity.  While individuals may reasonably misestimate their income at any given point, the scale of the problem suggests malicious intent from certain actors involved. There have been documented issues with broker behavior surrounding these “zero-premium” plans, with reports and litigation detailing practices of consumers having their plan switched by such brokers without their consent.  Estimates show the cost of improperly enrolled individuals in “zero-premium” plans are $15 billion to $20 billion per year and potentially as high as $26 billion per year. If these estimates are accurate, it implies that these improper payments represent more than half the cost of making the expanded subsidies permanent.  Runaway deficits and debt are threatening to breach historic levels in the next decade, and, by 2054, the cost of simply servicing our national debt will more than double relative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), crowding out other important national priorities. Given this grave situation, it is critical that the federal government safeguard increasingly scarce resources to ensure that every dollar spent goes as far as possible to improve Americans’ wellbeing.  CLICK HERE to read the letter to HHS Inspector General Christi Grimm. CLICK HERE to read the letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.



Jun 28, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Statement on SCOTUS Ruling to Restore Article I Power

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) issued the following statement after the United States Supreme Court struck down the “Chevron Deference” in Loper Bright Enterprises, et al. v. Raimondo : “Article I of the Constitution established Congress’s role to write the laws of the land—not the Executive Branch. The Supreme Court’s ruling today will help restore the proper balance of power as the Founders envisioned it. Moving forward, major decision-making authority will no longer automatically be deferred to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats. Power has been placed back in the hands of the American people and their elected representatives, as the Constitution prescribes.” 



Jun 25, 2024
Markups

Chair Rodgers Announces Full Committee Markup of 11 Bills

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today announced a Full Committee markup of 11 bills this Thursday, June 27.  “The Energy and Commerce Committee is continuing to deliver solutions for the American people. At this week’s markup, we will consider nearly a dozen bills, including legislation to establish a national data privacy and security standard for Americans, protect kids online, extend telehealth services for seniors, continue to incentivize important innovation for pediatric rare diseases, and repeal harmful regulations that are jeopardizing America’s economic and energy security, ” said Chair Rodgers. WHAT: A Full Committee markup of 11 bills. DATE: Thursday, June 27, 2024 TIME: 10:00 AM ET LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building LEGISLATION TO BE CONSIDERED: H.R. 7188 , Shandra Eisenga Human Cell and Tissue Product Safety Act (Reps. Moolenaar and Dingell)  H.R. 3433 , Give Kids a Chance Act of 2024 (Reps. McCaul and Eshoo)  H.R. 670 , Think Differently Database Act (Reps. Molinaro and Sherrill)  H.R. 7623 , Telehealth Modernization Act of 2024 (Reps. Carter and Blunt Rochester)  H.J.Res. 163 , Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “New Source Performance Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units; Emission Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Existing Fossil Fuel-Fired Electric Generating Units; and Repeal of the Affordable Clean Energy Rule” (Rep. Balderson)  H.J.Res. 136 , Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles” (Rep. James)  H.J.Res. 133 , Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles-Phase 3” (Rep. Fulcher)  H.J.Res. 117 , Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Reconsideration of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter” (Rep. Allen)  H.R. 8818 , American Privacy Rights Act of 2024 (Reps. Rodgers, Pallone, Bilirakis, and Schakowsky)  H.R. 7891 , Kids Online Safety Act (Reps. Bilirakis, Bucshon, Castor, Houchin, and Schrier)  H.R. 8449 , AM Radio for Every Vehicle Act (Reps. Bilirakis and Pallone) This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Alex Khlopin with the Committee staff at Alex.Khlopin@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at Sean.Kelly@mail.house.gov and Christopher Krepich at Christopher.Krepich@mail.house.gov



Jun 24, 2024
Press Release

E&C Republicans Press FDA Again for Information Regarding Foreign Inspection Program

Washington, D.C. — In a new letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) are pressing for more information regarding the agency’s foreign drug inspection program. The letter continues the Committee’s investigation into FDA inspection practices, which include a July 18, 2023, letter , a December 13, 2023, letter , and a February 6, 2024, oversight hearing at which the FDA declined to make an official available to testify.  BACKGROUND :  In the letter, the Members discuss the Committee’s analysis of FDA inspection outcomes in India and China from January 2014 to April 2024, limiting its review to inspectors with ten or more inspections in either China or India.   EXCERPT OF THE ANALYSIS :  “The results of this analysis were surprising, revealing tremendous variation in inspection outcomes. Some FDA inspectors found compliance issues during all or almost all of their inspections. Other inspectors rarely reported finding a single compliance issue. Two inspectors never found a single compliance issue over the course of a combined 24 inspections in India. Another inspector found zero compliance issues in 20 out of 23 inspections (85 percent) in China while finding compliance issues with almost half of domestic inspections during the same period. These are unusual inspection outcomes, the opposite of what would be expected given the widely reported failures in quality control and lack of adherence to current good manufacturing techniques by drug manufacturing facilities in China and India.  “By contrast, 16 FDA inspectors, with over 325 inspections collectively in India, found compliance issues during every inspection they conducted. As a measure of what a pattern of rigorous inspections should look like, the Committee reviewed the inspection outcomes for 3 FDA inspectors with professional reputations for thoroughness who also had at least 10 inspections in China or India during the studied time period. These expert inspectors reported finding no compliance issues during inspections in China at a rate of only 6.7 to 11.4 percent and at a rate of zero to 9.5 percent in India.”  KEY LETTER EXCERPT : “Such large variations in inspection outcomes are troubling, and they merit further investigation. At a minimum, the Committee is concerned that these findings suggest vast differences in the skill, thoroughness, and competence of FDA inspectors. The difference in inspection outcomes appears to be just another example of institutional weaknesses and dysfunction in the FDA’s foreign drug inspection program. Prior to the pandemic, media reporting found that some FDA inspectors took an inappropriately lenient approach with foreign drug manufacturers with serious compliance violations. There were also reports o f, and concerns about, foreign manufacturers attempting to bribe or improperly influence inspectors. The Committee is seriously evaluating the disturbing possibility that some of the variation in inspection outcomes could be the result of bribery or fraud.”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Jun 14, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers Unveils Framework for NIH Reform, Requests Stakeholder Input

Effort to begin conversation to revamp the public health agency, restore public trust Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today unveiled a framework that lays out the current challenges facing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and contains recommendations for reform. CLICK HERE to view the full framework. In a joint opinion piece with House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Chair Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Chair Rodgers makes the case for why reform is needed and asks for stakeholders to engage thoughtfully in the effort: "Let us be clear: We support the NIH and the critical role it plays in serving Americans, furthering scientific discovery, and ensuring the U.S. remains the world's leading pioneer in basic science and biomedical research innovation. But historical support for what an agency should or could be cannot prevent us from seeking to build upon past lessons or correct areas that have fallen short. "Our message to scientists, researchers, patient advocates, colleagues, and the American people is simple: Our door is open. Work with us. Be a partner. A deliberative, engaging process will lead to better outcomes for all. The framework being released today is just the start of a robust conversation, not a finished product. "The U.S. became a world leader in biomedical innovation because Americans are resourceful, resilient, and entrepreneurial. Let us continue to build on that legacy and work to ensure the NIH continues to deliver on the promises of hope for those in need." CLICK HERE to read the full opinion piece. CLICK HERE for a one-pager on the framework.  Stakeholders who wish to submit any feedback on the framework or provide additional thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for reform can do so by emailing NIHReform@mail.house.gov by August 16, 2024. The framework comes following the release of an interim staff report regarding the Committee’s ongoing investigation into a proposed MPXV project at the NIH, which uncovered a lack of oversight and transparency from the Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. KEY REPORT EXCERPT :  Ultimately, this investigation and interim report underscore the importance of restoring public trust in our government health agencies as well as Congress reasserting its Article I authority. Transparency and accountability are the most pressing remedies.  It also comes amid the Committee’s ongoing investigation into sexual harassment at the NIH and at NIH grantee institutions.  READ : August 10, 2021 : E&C Republican Leaders Question NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints     August 11, 2022 : E&C Republican Leaders follow up with NIH on Insufficient Response to its Letter on the NIH’s handling of Sexual Harassment     November 30, 2022 : E&C Republicans to NIH: Turn Over Previously Requested Information Ahead of New Congress     March 14, 2023 : E&C Republicans Press NIH for Information on Handling of Sexual Harassment Complaints     October 6, 2023 : E&C Republicans Signal Intent to Issue Subpoena to Obtain Information on NIH’s Handling of Sexual Harassment if Questions Go Unanswered     January 26, 2024 : Chair Rogers notifies NIH of Imminent Subpoena     February 5, 2024 : Chair Rodgers Subpoenas NIH for Documents Related to Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH and NIH Grantee Institutions    February 20, 2024 : HHS responds on behalf of NIH to offer a rolling in camera document review to the Committee. Documents produced in the review have been highly redacted, including the redaction of the names of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, public news articles about individuals who have been found guilty of harassment, and redaction of the names of the institutions where the abuse occurred—effectively preventing the Committee from understanding if NIH continues to fund work performed by substantiated abusers at other institutions—a practice known as “pass the harasser.”    April 16, 2024 : E&C Republicans Expand Investigation into Sexual Harassment at NIH to now Include Review of HHS Office of Civil Rights Compliance Role   May 9, 2024 : E&C Republicans ask Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide the Committee with the legal basis requiring HHS to redact or hide the names of researchers determined to have committed sexual misconduct.  May 30, 2024 : Evidence Uncovered by E&C Republicans Refutes Secretary Becerra’s Assertion that HHS Takes Action to Prevent Sexual Abusers from Receiving Taxpayer Funding



Jun 13, 2024
Press Release

Subcommittee Chair Guthrie Opening Remarks at Hearing on CMS Innovation

Washington D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee  hearing  titled “Checking-In on CMMI: Assessing the Transition to Value-Based Care.”  “Thank you to our witness, Dr. Liz Fowler, for being here with us today as we ‘check-in’ on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s progress in lowering costs and improving quality of care paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. “Our health care system has underdone significant changes over the last decade and Americans continue to cite health care costs as a top concern. “More Americans are stuck paying more for health care, more than they ever have in the past.” HEALTH CARE EXPENDITURES RAPIDLY INCREASING ON THE BACKS OF TAXPAYERS AND PATIENTS “Taxpayers are also on the hook for higher health care expenditures. “In 2022, health care spending grew by 4% year-over-year, reaching $4.5 trillion, nearly 17% of U.S. gross domestic product. “During this same time, spending on hospital care reached 30% of total health care spending while physician and clinical services reached 20% of all health care spending.   “Physicians are now being forced to spend more man hours on back-office administrative tasks in efforts by taxpayers to keep costs low.” CMMI FAILED TO ACHIEVE PROJECTED COST SAVINGS “Policy makers and stakeholders from across the health care system have hoped that by embracing value-based care, high costs and physician burnout would be addressed, and patients would receive a higher quality of care.   “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was supposed to be a key driver of this movement toward value-based care.   “However, Medicare and Medicaid’s transition to value care has clearly stagnated.   “CMMI was established as a part of the Affordable Care Act with the dual goal of driving better patient outcomes and slowing the growth rate of the Medicare and Medicaid program costs.   “The Congressional Budget Office originally projected that CMMI would not just offset the costs of running pilot programs but drive significant long-term savings across our health care system.   “That unfortunately has not come close to materializing. A September 2023 CBO report found that CMMI’s activities increased spending by almost $5.5 billion.    “Under the Biden administration the Center has undertaken an internal reevaluation.   “While I would hope this strategic refresh would generate a renewed commitment to better fulfilling CMMI’s mission of reducing costs and improving quality in its second decade.   “However, I must admit I am concerned the Center has instead further shifted focus from its Congressionally anointed purpose.   “I would be remised if I didn’t mention a few specific actions CMMI has taken recently that could significantly harm the transition to value-based care.   “The first, is the so-called Accelerating Clinical Evidence model in which CMMI has proposed to slash payments to Part B providers who are prescribing therapies fully approved by the FDA through the Accelerated Approval Pathway.   “This not only undermines the FDA gold standard but penalizes those attempting to drive transformative change for patients that otherwise lack treatment options.”  CMMI IS IMPEDING INNOVATION “I am furthermore concerned about CMMI’s Cell and Gene Therapy Access Model, which may inhibit the states’ ability to use value-based agreements to pay for curative cell-and-gene therapies approved by FDA. “We have 50 incubators across the country in the form of our state Medicaid programs and waiver authorities that give states the ability to shape policies that make the most sense for their budgetary needs and the needs of their beneficiaries. “By CMS directly negotiating drug rates for these therapies, it weakens the ability for states to negotiate directly with manufacturers or to form states compacts that give states greater bargaining power in these situations. “I would instead urge CMMI and CMS to work with Congress to pass my MVP Act, which I’ve worked with Ranking Member Eshoo on, which would codify CMS’ multiple best price rule and truly allow states to use value-based agreements to get life-changing treatments to patients as quickly and as affordably as possible, should be the goal of all of us. “In closing, I hope today’s discussion helps us chart a path forward for CMMI that can ensure the center is better delivering on its mission to facilitate innovation payment models that deliver for patients and taxpayers and reenergize the transition to value-based care.” 



Jun 13, 2024
Hearings

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at Hearing on CMS Innovation

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Health Subcommittee hearing titled “Checking-In on CMMI: Assessing the Transition to Value-Based Care.” CMMI'S FAILURE TO LOWER COSTS    “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation was created to help improve how Medicare and Medicaid pay for health care and be an engine in our drive towards value-based care.   “CMMI was given a 10-year, $10 billion budget and extremely wide-ranging authorities with limited built-in congressional oversight.   “The only directives Congress gave CMMI were to achieve two goals: lower the cost of delivering care and improve patient outcomes.   “Over the last decade and a half, CMMI has tested over 50 models. Only two accomplished both of those goals.   “When CMMI was created, the savings it was projected to generate were to be used to offset spending by the Affordable Care Act.   “Originally, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that CMMI would save $1.3 billion over its first decade of operation.  “That same model also projected CMMI to save as much as $77.5 billion in its second decade, from 2020 to 2030.   “However, when CBO looked at the actual results in a September 2023 report, the disparity between those expectations and the reality proved to be staggering.   “Instead of reducing spending by $1.3 billion in the first decade, CMMI increased spending by $5.4 billion.   “For this second decade, instead of saving 77.5 billion dollars, CBO is now projecting CMMI to increase spending by $1.3 billion.   “I have a hard time believing any objective observer could look at the results thus far and describe CMMI as a success.   “So how do we move forward? “Today, we’re joined by Dr. Elizabeth Fowler, the current Director of CMMI, to discuss the Center’s work and understand why it has failed to live up to its intended purpose thus far. “I will note that Dr. Fowler has not been with CMMI throughout its entire existence. “In fact, CMMI has had multiple directors across multiple administrations. “But you are at the helm now and responsible for correcting this program’s trajectory, and while there are some reasons for optimism, a lot of what I have seen is concerning.” CMMI STRAYING FROM ITS CORE MISSION  “I’ve been disappointed to see CMMI devalue drugs approved through the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Pathway—which FDA leadership confirmed meet the agency’s gold-standard just a few weeks ago in this committee.   “This pathway was designed to build on precision medicine, encourage innovation, and allow patients to access needed cures sooner, but CMMI’s decision to cut reimbursements unilaterally for drugs approved via Accelerated Approval undercuts this mission.  “In addition, when Congress passed MACRA, thanks in large part to the work of this Committee, CMMI was given a cental role in driving Medicare’s transition to value-based care.   “While CMMI has developed and tested some new models, largely for primary care physicians, too many clinicians have been left without a pathway to participate in APMs.   “I’m concerned that instead of focusing on fulfilling the role Congress gave CMMI in MACRA and working on developing new APMs, CMMI’s focus has shifted to collecting information on patients' food insecurity and housing needs and requiring providers to waste time writing ridiculous 'health equity plans.’”  SOME POSITIVE OUTCOMES   “While I have concerns on the overall direction and lack of results with CMMI, there have been a few positive outcomes that deserve to be recognized.  “Looking at CMMI’s most recent work, I am glad you are continuing to build on the Accountable Care Organization model.   “While joining an ACO should not be the only pathway for providers to be able to participate in value-based care, these models are among the few that have actually managed to reduce overall spending and should not be abandoned.   “I was encouraged to see CMMI work on trying to improve care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.   “Sadly, most people know someone that has suffered from this terrible disease, and I hope that this model is successful in improving community-based care for those patients.   “Lowering the costs of health care in this country has been a primary mission of this Committee this Congress. We are on an unsustainable path and must continue to find ways to reverse the current trend. “This makes it all the more important that CMMI carries out its intended mission and avoids pursuing an alternative agenda. “Dr. Fowler, I am grateful you are here to share your expertise and eager to hear what lessons CMMI has learned and how we can get it back on track to lower costs and improve care.”