Medicare Advantage Coalition Applauds Updated Legislative Proposal to Improve Health Outcomes for Medicare Beneficiaries
Washington, D.C. – Today Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading advocacy coalition for Medicare Advantage, announced support for S. 870, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017, legislation introduced by 16 cosponsors including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Mark Warner (D-VA), co-chairs of the Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group.
“The Senate Chronic Care Working Group worked tirelessly to develop an important piece of legislation to address the very real concerns regarding how we, as a country, address the rising number of people living with serious chronic conditions. The CHRONIC Care Act recognizes Medicare Advantage’s framework that provides the flexibility for innovative care that directly addresses this most challenging need faced by millions of Americans in Medicare. Better Medicare Alliance supports the goals of the CHRONIC Act and will be a partner in efforts to see that this legislation advances in Congress,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, BMA President and CEO.
To develop the legislation, the bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group sought input from key stakeholders across the country on cost-effective solutions to improve health outcomes for Medicare patients living with one or more chronic conditions. BMA provided thoughtful input on ways the legislation could better enable Medicare Advantage, the private managed care option within Medicare, to deliver high value, quality, cost-effective health care to beneficiaries with multiple chronic illnesses.
The fully-capitated, risk-adjusted framework of Medicare Advantage encourages a focus on care coordination, early intervention, care transitions, and effective secondary interventions for seniors with chronic disease. The CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 would expand successful models of care within Medicare Advantage, including expanding telehealth and support for beneficiaries to receive care in their homes.
BMA supports the following goals in CHRONIC Care Act of 2017:
· Expand the CMMI VBID model
· Expand enhanced benefits in Medicare Advantage
· Allow a Medicare Advantage plan to offer additional, clinically appropriate, telehealth benefits
· Provide stability and support for Medicare Advantage SNP plans for the most vulnerable.
· Extend the Independence at Home demonstration model
BMA CALLS FOR PERMANENT AUTHORIZATION OF SNP PLANS
Special Need Plans (SNPs) are Medicare Advantage plans tailored to provide specialized care to serve high-cost, high-need beneficiaries who are dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and have certain chronic conditions. Over two million beneficiaries are in enrolled in nearly 600 SNPs nationwide.
“SNPs have been recognized as a valuable care delivery model for high-need individuals. SNPs should be permanently authorized to ensure beneficiaries have access to the quality, coordinated, and high-value care offered by SNPs. It is time for Congressional action,” said Schwartz.
The proposed bill would permanently authorize the I-SNPs, D-SNPs and CSNPs and require a D-SNP plan to include long-term services and supports and/or behavioral health services by 2022.
As a coalition of 83 ally organizations that represents nurses, doctors, insurers, businesses and senior organizations, BMA will mobilize its allies to in support of the CHRONIC Care Act. BMA will also activate over 100,000 senior advocates, many of whom rely on Medicare Advantage to manage their chronic conditions and maintain a high quality of life.