The Senate Finance Committee has come up with a reintroduction of the bipartisan bill intended to develop care for the chronically ill Medicare population. First introduced in 2015, the bill was not approved and was eventually expired after the adjournment of the 114th Congress. The bill also failed to secure any vote in the Senate during that time.
The primary focus of the bill is in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. It facilitates MA plans in providing with an assortment of supplemental benefits for the chronically ill enrollees starting in 2020.
For covering the package containing the various benefits, the Medicare program pays all the MA plans for a per-beneficiary monthly rate. These plans also have the ability to provide extra supplemental benefits such as improved disease management, counseling, and acupuncture.
Medicare imposes many of the restrictions on these various supplemental benefits. In addition, the passing of the bill represents a positive sign of growth for the medical services. It also permits the MA plans for providing tele-health benefits, which is generally not covered under the traditional Medicare Fee-For-Service plan.
Mostly such MA plans allow for some amount of flexibility in determining the type of tele-health services for covering the bill. Moreover, it particularly facilitates the MA plans in covering the tele-health services for the purpose of stroke care.
Another major focus of the bill is towards the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) program. With this bill, the ACOs are permitted to willingly put forth the necessary incentive payments directly among all the assigned beneficiaries. This will greatly encourage them to receive many of the preventive primary care services.
One of the main intentions of this program is to aid in the treatment and management of many chronic conditions. The payments are usually up to $20 for each of the qualifying services. Moreover, the ACOs are not offered with any extra Medicare reimbursement for covering the primary care incentive payment costs.
For effective implementation, the bill requires the carrying out of numerous studies by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Some of them include conducting a detailed study for the purpose of developing a payment code that elaborates the devising of a complete plan of longitudinal care for a Medicare beneficiary diagnosed with any serious or fatal illnesses.
Moreover, the bill also needs a study to be carried out for enhancing the synchronizing of medication and for analyzing the effect of obesity drugs on the health of the patients.