The Senate recently passed S.870 – The CHRONIC Care Act, which seeks to improve coordination of care for senior patients that have multiple chronic conditions. This Act comes at a time when the elderly population is rapidly expanding as Baby Boomers enter their senior years. To provide better care for chronically ill seniors, there are two goals that CHRONIC will address in reforming Medicare that will directly affect health and home care agencies.
1. Extends the ACA’s Independent at Home Program
The Affordable Care Act initially laid the groundwork for providing home care for Medicare beneficiaries in 2012 with the trial Independent at Home Program. This program allowed 10,000 patients with complex chronic conditions to remain in their homes with the home care they needed. The CHRONIC Care Act will extend the number of eligible Medicare beneficiaries to 15,000 and expand this trial program for another two years.
2. Expands the Flexibility of Medicare Advantage
The CHRONIC Care Act would give more flexibility to Medicare Advantage plans in all states through participation in the Value-Based Insurance Design Model. This will allow MA plans to offer more services that will work to address the underlying causes of chronic illness. Special Needs Plans would also be available for patients who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.
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