Medicare agency unveils massive plan to comply with healthcare reform law

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid on Thursday unveiled a 73-page plan to modernize its computer and data systems, as required by the healthcare reform law.

The plan aims to help the massive agency, which pays about $800 billion in healthcare benefits to 100 million Americans every year, drive the transformation of the U.S. healthcare system into one that pays for quality rather than quantity of care.

The agency, according to a summary of the plan, "is focusing efforts on two fronts: to obtain more robust analytics for quality of care in light of new health care delivery models and drive quality improvements by rewarding health care providers based on quality performance metrics."

To achieve those goals, the plan calls for CMS to establish an "enterprise-level capability to capture and analyze data on resource utilization, health outcomes, and cost, even as the volume and scale of its programs and data rapidly increase."