January 28, 2015

ICYMI: Study Shows Medicare Advantage Is Better on Prevention

A new study published in the journal Health Affairs shows that Medicare Advantage enrollees are more likely to experience preventive care visits than those in fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare.

To assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion of Medicare preventive health coverage, the researchers examined trends in preventive visits and recommended preventive services. From 2007-2014, they evaluated primary care Medicare-eligible patients from age 65-75 at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which serves four counties around San Francisco, California.

While FFS Medicare preventive visits increased during the study period as a result of the ACA, Medicare Advantage enrollees were nevertheless significantly more likely to access preventive care visits (52.7 percent), compared to FFS Medicare (32.8 percent).

Medicare Advantage has long emphasized the importance of preventive care for seniors. According to corresponding author Sukyung Chung, Ph.D., “Medicare HMO coverage for preventive care generally has been comprehensive with small, if any, copays.”

“This study demonstrates another reason why our coalition members value Medicare Advantage: it is better on preventive care for seniors,” said Krista Drobac, Interim Executive Director of the Better Medicare Alliance.

Click here to learn more about how Medicare Advantage is leading the way on preventive health.

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