Senators co-chair Finance Committee working group to improve outcomes for Medicare patients requiring chronic care
May 22 2015
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Finance Committee members Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced the formation of a bipartisan working group to begin exploring solutions to improve outcomes for Medicare patients requiring chronic care. As part of these efforts, Sens. Warner and Isakson today sent a letter requesting input from healthcare stakeholders as they work to develop bipartisan legislative solutions.
“Our current system, which rewards providers for delivering increased volume of services, is incredibly costly for chronic care patients and a drain on our Medicare system,” said Sen. Warner. “We need to continue to work to find solutions to strengthen care coordination and effectively provide quality chronic care. Input from healthcare stakeholders, from both the public and private sectors, is critical as we move towards developing bipartisan solutions.”
Submissions can be made at the Senate Finance Committee chronic care reform mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to respond is Monday, June 22, 2015. All submissions will be considered part of the public record.
Specifically, the senators are seeking input regarding the following issue areas:
- Improvements to Medicare Advantage for patients living with multiple chronic conditions;
- Transformative policies that improve outcomes for patients living with chronic diseases either through modifications to the current Medicare Shared Savings ACO Program, piloted alternate payment models (APMs) currently underway at CMS, or by proposing new APM structures;
- Reforms to Medicare’s current fee-for-service program that incentivize providers to coordinate care for patients living with chronic conditions;
- The effective use, coordination, and cost of prescription drugs;
- Ideas to effectively use or improve the use of telehealth and remote monitoring technology;
- Strategies to increase chronic care coordination in rural and frontier areas;
- Use of care coordination teams to offer Medicare patients the tools they need to meaningfully engage with their health care providers; and
- Ways to more effectively utilize primary care providers in order to meet the goal of maximizing health care outcomes for Medicare patients living with chronic conditions.
A signed copy of today’s letter can be found here.
Sens. Warner and Isakson have worked together on a series of bipartisan bills to improve access and quality of medical care for some of our country’s most vulnerable patients. On January 28, the Senators introduced the Medicare Home Infusion Site of Care Act, to allow beneficiaries who need intravenous medications to receive their infusion treatments in the comfort and convenience of their homes and at a lower cost to Medicare. Additionally, in the coming weeks, the Senators will reintroduce the Care Planning Act designed to give Medicare beneficiaries with serious illness the information they need to make informed choices about their care and have those choices honored.