June 15, 2012
Contact: Cristina Flores
Congress Should Move Promptly on Three Key MedPAC Recommendations
Statement by John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, on the release of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC) June 2012 Report to Congress.
“MedPAC has offered up three powerful policy tools to curb costs and improve quality in Medicare. Congress should not hesitate to put those tools to work.First, as part of a broader benefit redesign, MedPAC proposes giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services the ability to vary copays for various treatments based on evidence of their value. This would allow implementation in Medicare of the value-based insurance design innovations that have yielded substantial savings in the private sector.
Second, the Commission also proposes a sequence of policy measures intended to give more beneficiaries access to the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)- an approach that offers high-quality, well-coordinated care, structured around a day health center while enabling frail elders to stay in their homes.
Finally, the report’s chapter on care coordination, though lacking a formal recommendation, clearly points toward consideration of immediate measures to improve care coordination for fee for service beneficiaries, such as a per member coordination payment or penalties for poor outcomes.
As MedPAC notes, Medicare is already poised to test a range of innovative new models of care in coming years. However, as promising as these pilots may be over the long-term, they only enroll a fraction of beneficiaries today and will take years to develop fully.
In contrast, Congress could act now to implement value based insurance design, expand PACE, and improve care coordination. As Medicare costs continue to grow, beneficiaries should not have to wait for lower-cost, higher-quality care.”
Document: June 15 – MedPAC Recommendations