Wednesday, February 3, 2016

AHCA/NCAL Submits Comments on Chronic Care

Senators Wyden & Hatch (Photo courtesy Pro Publica)
Drew Thies
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living submitted comments to the Senate Finance Chronic Care Working Group.

The Working Group released a series of proposals in December and called for stakeholder input. The proposals primarily call for changes targeting Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.

AHCA/NCAL urged the group to take into account the “unintended consequences” the policies could have on current payment systems and access to care. Community-level quality metrics, for instance, could potentially put some residents at risk by taking control away from providers, the comments argue.

Clifton J. Porter II, senior vice president of government relations for AHCA, said, "This issue is of vital importance to AHCA/NCAL, since a majority of the individuals our members care for have multiple chronic medical conditions — and the number is growing rapidly."

Porter said that Medicare spending for beneficiaries with chronic conditions can reach $300 billion each year. Spending on beneficiaries with six or more conditions is three times higher than that of an average Medicare patient. Comments suggested that the working group distinguish between the two very different populations of patients with many chronic conditions and those with just one or two.

AHCA/NCAL will continue to work closely with the Working Group as the Senate Finance committee moves forward on its signature Medicare reform package.

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