42 USC 1395b1 - Incentives for economy while maintaining or improving quality in provision of health services

(a) Grants and contracts to develop and engage in experiments and demonstration projects 

(1) The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized, either directly or through grants to public or private agencies, institutions, and organizations or contracts with public or private agencies, institutions, and organizations, to develop and engage in experiments and demonstration projects for the following purposes:
(A) to determine whether, and if so which, changes in methods of payment or reimbursement (other than those dealt with in section 222(a) of the Social Security Amendments of 1972) for health care and services under health programs established by this chapter, including a change to methods based on negotiated rates, would have the effect of increasing the efficiency and economy of health services under such programs through the creation of additional incentives to these ends without adversely affecting the quality of such services;
(B) to determine whether payments for services other than those for which payment may be made under such programs (and which are incidental to services for which payment may be made under such programs) would, in the judgment of the Secretary, result in more economical provision and more effective utilization of services for which payment may be made under such program, where such services are furnished by organizations and institutions which have the capability of providing

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(i) comprehensive health care services,
(ii) mental health care services (as defined by section 2691 (c)1 of this title),
(iii) ambulatory health care services (including surgical services provided on an outpatient basis), or
(iv) institutional services which may substitute, at lower cost, for hospital care;
(C) to determine whether the rates of payment or reimbursement for health care services, approved by a State for purposes of the administration of one or more of its laws, when utilized to determine the amount to be paid for services furnished in such State under the health programs established by this chapter, would have the effect of reducing the costs of such programs without adversely affecting the quality of such services;
(D) to determine whether payments under such programs based on a single combined rate of reimbursement or charge for the teaching activities and patient care which residents, interns, and supervising physicians render in connection with a graduate medical education program in a patient facility would result in more equitable and economical patient care arrangements without adversely affecting the quality of such care;
(E) to determine whether coverage of intermediate care facility services and homemaker services would provide suitable alternatives to posthospital benefits presently provided under this subchapter; such experiment and demonstration projects may include:
(i) counting each day of care in an intermediate care facility as one day of care in a skilled nursing facility, if such care was for a condition for which the individual was hospitalized,
(ii) covering the services of homemakers for a maximum of 21 days, if institutional services are not medically appropriate,
(iii) determining whether such coverage would reduce long-range costs by reducing the lengths of stay in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and

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(iv) establishing alternative eligibility requirements and determining the probable cost of applying each alternative, if the project suggests that such extension of coverage would be desirable;
(F) to determine whether, and if so which type of, fixed price or performance incentive contract would have the effect of inducing to the greatest degree effective, efficient, and economical performance of agencies and organizations making payment under agreements or contracts with the Secretary for health care and services under health programs established by this chapter;
(G) to determine under what circumstances payment for services would be appropriate and the most appropriate, equitable, and noninflationary methods and amounts of reimbursement under health care programs established by this chapter for services, which are performed independently by an assistant to a physician, including a nurse practitioner (whether or not performed in the office of or at a place at which such physician is physically present), and
(i) which such assistant is legally authorized to perform by the State or political subdivision wherein such services are performed, and
(ii) for which such physician assumes full legal and ethical responsibility as to the necessity, propriety, and quality thereof;
(H) to establish an experimental program to provide day-care services, which consist of such personal care, supervision, and services as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe, for individuals eligible to enroll in the supplemental medical insurance program established under part B of this subchapter and subchapter XIX of this chapter, in day-care centers which meet such standards as the Secretary shall by regulation establish;
(I) to determine whether the services of clinical psychologists may be made more generally available to persons eligible for services under this subchapter and subchapter XIX of this chapter in a manner consistent with quality of care and equitable and efficient administration;
(J) to develop or demonstrate improved methods for the investigation and prosecution of fraud in the provision of care or services under the health programs established by this chapter; and
(K) to determine whether the use of competitive bidding in the awarding of contracts, or the use of other methods of reimbursement, under part B of subchapter XI of this chapter would be efficient and effective methods of furthering the purposes of that part.

For purposes of this subsection, health programs established by this chapter means the program established by this subchapter and a program established by a plan of a State approved under subchapter XIX of this chapter.

(2) Grants, payments under contracts, and other expenditures made for experiments and demonstration projects under paragraph (1) shall be made in appropriate part from the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (established by section 1395i of this title) and the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund (established by section 1395t of this title) and from funds appropriated under subchapter XIX of this chapter. Grants and payments under contracts may be made either in advance or by way of reimbursement, as may be determined by the Secretary, and shall be made in such installments and on such conditions as the Secretary finds necessary to carry out the purpose of this section. With respect to any such grant, payment, or other expenditure, the amount to be paid from each of such trust funds (and from funds appropriated under such subchapter XIX of this chapter) shall be determined by the Secretary, giving due regard to the purposes of the experiment or project involved.
(b) Waiver of certain payment or reimbursement requirements; advice and recommendations of specialists preceding experiments and demonstration projects 
In the case of any experiment or demonstration project under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary may waive compliance with the requirements of this subchapter and subchapter XIX of this chapter insofar as such requirements relate to reimbursement or payment on the basis of reasonable cost, or (in the case of physicians) on the basis of reasonable charge, or to reimbursement or payment only for such services or items as may be specified in the experiment; and costs incurred in such experiment or demonstration project in excess of the costs which would otherwise be reimbursed or paid under such subchapters may be reimbursed or paid to the extent that such waiver applies to them (with such excess being borne by the Secretary). No experiment or demonstration project shall be engaged in or developed under subsection (a) of this section until the Secretary obtains the advice and recommendations of specialists who are competent to evaluate the proposed experiment or demonstration project as to the soundness of its objectives, the possibilities of securing productive results, the adequacy of resources to conduct the proposed experiment or demonstration project, and its relationship to other similar experiments and projects already completed or in process.
[1] See References in Text note below.