BMA Event

Event Recap: Hill briefing | New Research Comparing Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare

July 17, 2018

Better Medicare Alliance hosted a Hill briefing about the new research report by Avalere Health sponsored by BMA that rolled out on July 11th entitled: Medicare Advantage Achieves Better Health Outcomes and Lower Costs for Beneficiaries with Chronic Conditions Compared to Fee-for-Service Medicare.” The event had over 70 attendees. The briefing was an opportunity for the congressional public and outside audience to learn from Avalere researchers. The presenters gave insights on how they conducted the study and why they chose certain methods. They talked about limitations and policy recommendations they have moving forward. Followed by commentary from two of our allies that talked about the value of the research.


Allyson Y. Schwartz, President & CEO of Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), said BMA works to provide the evidence of what is working in Medicare Advantage and the Avalere research shows Medicare Advantage works better for beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

Sean Creighton, Vice President at Avalere Research, said the prevalence and ranks of disease burden for Medicare Advantage and FFS Medicare is almost identical, which is a new and novel finding.

Creighton said the growth in Medicare Advantage necessitates the comparison between FFS Medicare and Medicare Advantage. He said Medicare Advantage utilizes care coordination and lower cost preventive services to improve outcomes.

Christy Teigland, Vice President at Avalere Research, said in the research hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes had virtually the same prevalence and over 80 of Medicare beneficiaries have one or more of these chronic conditions.

Teigland said the research shows a direct link between clinical and social risk factors and high Medicare costs. She said Medicare Advantage had fewer hospitalizations and ER visits, and more potentially avoidable hospitalizations and spent 21% more on preventive physician services.

Minerva Campos, President of the National Hispanic Medical Association said the Hispanic population chooses Medicare Advantage because it provides reliable high-quality care and helps people navigate the health care system. The Medicare Advantage system has been improving over time and puts the right incentives in place for providers.

Gary Puckrein, President of the National Minority Quality Forum said FFS Medicare is old school and this research corroborates that Medicare Advantage better manages chronic conditions like diabetes. And FFS Medicare fundamentally can’t move us forward so we need a coordinated system with good data.


Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz, President & CEO, Better Medicare Alliance

Presentations by:

Sean Creighton, M.Sc., Vice President, Policy Practice, Avalere Health

Christie Teigland, Ph.D., Vice President, Advanced Analytics, Avalere Health

Comments by:

Minerva Campus, M.D., National Hispanic Medical Association

Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D., President & CEO, National Minority Quality Forum

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Event photos:

Watch video here

Download Hill Briefing Presentation here