01 Feb Task Force Letter to Senate Finance Committee on Chronic Care Policy Options
As part of the policymaking framework for addressing chronic care patients, the specific health needs and acuity of services for specific patients can change from time to time, and the particular focus of chronic care services should be tailored to the specific conditions of the patient at the time and subject the periodic reevaluation.
Task Force Response Summary
1. Advancing Team Based Care. The Task Force agrees that fostering collaboration among payers, providers, patients and caregivers, with a focus on integrated approaches to care, is key to improving quality of care, patient outcomes and experience, all while lowering costs. Improving access to team based care and facilitating collaboration and communication across the continuum of care should remain a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) priority for the Medicare population.
2. Expanding Innovation and Technology. Provider networks and Medicare Advantage plans should be able to tailor care to beneficiaries who are chronically ill in ways that best meet their needs. The use of supplemental benefits for chronically ill Medicare Advantage enrollees is a patient-centered approach to care that the Task Force supports.
3. Identifying the Chronically Ill Population and Ways to Improve Quality. Identifying the chronically ill population is important in reducing health care costs that are concentrated in a very small patient subpopulation. Since the top 5% of patients, ranked by individual health care dollar spent, are responsible for almost half of the nation’s total personal health care dollars spent, finding and managing care for this group of patients can be an efficient and effective way to increase quality and reduce costs more generally.
4. Empowering Individuals and Caregivers in Care Delivery. While the Committee emphasizes the importance of empowering individuals and caregivers to be engaged in their care, the proposed policies focus on engaging patients at the point of care alone. Meaningful engagement, however, means supporting patients and family members as equal partners not just in decisions related to their care, but also decisions related to care delivery design and governance of provider organizations. In addition, patients and caregivers are valuable resources for forming partnerships between providers and communities.
The Task Force response to specific SFC Options are detailed in the full letter.