Who We Are

The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

Federal Government’s $10 Billion Search for Health Care’s Next Big Ideas

Washington, DC, August 11, 2014 The Washington Post today reported that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to mend what President Barack Obama called a broken health care system, but its best-known programs — online insurance and expanded Medicaid for the poor — affect a relatively small portion of Americans.

A federal office you’ve probably never heard of is supposed to fix health care for everybody else.

According to the Post, the ACA created the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to launch experiments in every state, changing the way doctors and hospitals are paid, building networks between caregivers and training them to intervene before chronic illness gets worse.

One example:  George Washington University’s $1.9 million award to improve care and cut costs for at-home dialysis patients.  Another: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s $24 million grant to reduce unnecessary hospital visits for chronically ill Medicare patients.

The center’s ten-year, $10 billion budget is the largest ever devoted to transforming care.  In several states the office is working to overhaul medicine for nearly all residents — not just those with government Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

Every few months it awards test grants of $3 million or $10 million each — or sometimes tens of millions — to community groups, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, nursing homes and states.

Its programs touch millions of patients. Hundreds of organizations have gotten money.  More than $2 billion has been doled out or committed since 2011.

One of the biggest experiments is the center itself. Skeptics, including Republicans but also those who support the health law, wonder if it’s up to the task.

“While I certainly appreciate innovation in the delivery of health care, the CMMI is just another big government bureaucracy created by Obamacare that costs billions and duplicates other efforts,” Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said through a spokesman.  Hatch mused at a hearing last year whether the center’s hundreds of tests represent “barely controlled chaos.”

Even policy pros who hope the innovation lab succeeds wonder if its investment will pay off and complain that it is slow to disclose information on spending and results.

“This is absolutely necessary” to try to change how care is bought and delivered, says Christopher Koller, president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, a nonprofit that works to improve medical decision making.  “Is this the right way to do it? A whole bunch of experiments? Is the innovation center adequately resourced in an administrative way to do this?  The jury is still out on this.”

For the full Washington Post story, click here.