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Value of Medicare Advantage: Pioneering Community Partnerships to Improve Health Outcomes Issue Brief

September 12, 2016

Download the issue brief here.

Between 2011 and 2030, roughly 10,000 seniors in America will become eligible for Medicare every day, presenting challenges and opportunities for the health care system.1 The growing demand for health care services increases the need for innovative community partnerships enabled by Medicare Advantage (MA).

Community partnerships help seniors age “in place”; outside of traditional health care settings. MA plans and providers are bridging gaps in health care delivery by actively engaging in partnerships with community-based organizations to meet the health and social needs of Medicare beneficiaries to improve outcomes and slow disease progression.

This Issue Brief:

• Explains how MA plans and providers are bridging gaps in health care delivery by actively engaging in partnerships with community-based organizations to meet the needs of Medicare beneficiaries.
• Highlights examples of effective partnerships connecting MA beneficiaries to community-based services, including healthy food through Meals on Wheels America, exercise and diabetes prevention through the YMCA, and community nursing through Health Quality Partners. These partnerships provide beneficiaries with resources to improve transitions of care, manage chronic conditions and receive care at home.
• Identifies ways in which policymakers can support innovative community partnerships, with specific emphasis on services targeted to beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions in order to slow disease progression.
• Offers policy proposals which include: increasing flexibility in MA plan design, expanding the definition of supplemental benefits in MA, expanding reimbursement options for the home and community as a site of care, and promoting public-private partnerships in MA.

This issue brief builds on the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) Congressional Hill Briefing “The Value of Medicare Advantage: Pioneering Community Partnerships to Improve Health Outcomes,” which can be viewed online. Presentations from this briefing can be downloaded on the BMA website.