Happy Birthday Medicare!

Posted by MacKenzie Curt

September 16, 2015 at 3:42 PM


In light of the 50th birthday celebration for Medicare, it’s worth asking how well the program is aging and how it plans to maintain vitality and relevance in the years ahead.

According to The Hill Blog, Medicare’s future looks healthier than before, which has helped the US become a healthier country even as the population ages:

Since it was signed into law in 1965, Medicare has grown into the nation’s largest healthcare program, covering over 54 million Americans age 65 and over as well as individuals with certain disabilities. Over the years, the program’s increased focus on preventive care has helped increase the nation’s life expectancy from about 70 years in 1965 to nearly 80 years today.

Looking ahead, there is reason to believe that care coordination (which goes hand-in-hand with preventive care) could be the key to growth and prosperity for our seniors:

“A great example of successful care coordination is in the 30-year-old Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Through MA, health plans receive upfront, monthly payments for each of their beneficiaries and work with physicians to deliver integrated, team-based care. All health care providers involved in a patient’s care are in sync, ensuring each patient receives the most appropriate care at the right time.”

That sure sounds like an effective approach to care coordination – which is a key part of our mission at Cordata. CMS is certainly in touch with the benefits of care coordination, too:

A large emphasis on prevention means physicians are able to make diagnoses early and members avoid more costly care down the road. Furthermore, quality measures keep physicians accountable and reward them for reaching set goals. MA plans have seen great success in reducing the costs associated with complex chronic care management, while dramatically improving patient outcomes and care quality.

With CMS giving care coordination a full endorsement, the broader healthcare market is almost certain to follow suit with more extensive adoption – not least because they’ll need to get better at coordinating care to meet the standards set by CMS. The good news for hospitals and health systems is that the value of care coordination will be realized with all kinds of patients, including those with private insurance plans.

Topics: Navigation & Care Coordination

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