Press Releases
December 13, 2023

New Study: Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries Have Greater Access to and Better Experiences with Primary Care Compared to Fee-for Service Medicare

Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are experiencing higher rates of annual check-ups resulting in better patient experiences due to Medicare Advantage plans’ unique partnerships with primary care providers

Washington, D.C.Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have higher engagement with primary care and better patient experiences compared to fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare, according to new research released today.

The research, conducted by ATI Advisory on behalf of the Better Medicare Alliance, the nation’s leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage for the more than 31 million beneficiaries it serves, highlights the coordinated collaboration between Medicare Advantage and primary care provider organizations and the innovative strategies used by Medicare Advantage organizations to improve primary care access, utilization, and experience of care for Medicare beneficiaries.

“Primary care is essential to helping Medicare Advantage beneficiaries navigate their health, prevent disease, and manage chronic illnesses to improve their quality of life,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “This research demonstrates how the flexibility of Medicare Advantage leads to innovation and collaboration with primary care providers that better serves the millions of seniors and people with disabilities who choose Medicare Advantage.”

The study finds four key strategies Medicare Advantage organizations leverage to improve the quality of primary care and enrollee engagement:

  1. Access and enrollee engagement: Medicare Advantage organizations encourage enrollees to engage in primary care, and both Medicare Advantage and primary care provider organizations work together to support timely access to care.
  2. Partnerships and value-based care: Medicare Advantage organizations offer a diverse array of value-based partnerships to incentivize quality care among primary care provider organizations. Both Medicare Advantage and provider organizations have distinct roles and strengths to bring to these partnerships.
  3. Data and data sharing: Medicare Advantage and primary care provider organizations participate in data exchange to meet care gaps, share risk stratification strategies, reduce administrative burdens, and enable value-based relationships.
  4. Communication and care management: Medicare Advantage and primary care provider organizations often collaborate through open communication to ensure enrollees receive the care they need and appropriately allocate care management responsibilities.

“As a multi-specialty group practice with 500 clinicians serving patients in Washington and Portland, this research confirms what we have experienced for years,” said Mark Mantei, Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver Clinic. “The most important factor in improving quality and managing costs is a close relationship with a primary care physician, and the partnership between Medicare Advantage plans and primary care organizations has been critical in delivering better access and experience of care for beneficiaries.”

 This study underscores the meaningful benefits to patients and our healthcare system when payment supports and encourages primary care providers to do what they do best — develop trusting, long-term relationships with patients that focus on prevention, better health and a better health care experience,” said Ben Kornitzer, chief medical officer at agilon health. “Value-based care partnerships between payers, like Medicare Advantage, and primary care providers unlock the potential to achieve the quadruple aim and facilitate a future enhanced by accountable care relationships.”

Read the full analysis from ATI Advisory here.

Better Medicare Alliance is a community of more than one million grassroots beneficiaries and 200+ Ally organizations working to improve health care through a strong Medicare Advantage. Learn more at


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