LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SCAN Health Plan today endorsed draft federal legislation aimed at strengthening the Medicare Advantage program to make it easier to serve chronically ill seniors. The proposed legislation is the result of two years of work by the Senate Finance Committee and the Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group who earlier this month released a discussion draft of the “Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2016.”
“We applaud the great work of this committee and encourage the Senate Finance Committee and Congress as a whole to consider this legislation in an expeditious manner,” said Chris Wing, chief executive officer of SCAN. “This workgroup has offered a proposal that is a significant step forward in our effort to deliver comprehensive, high-quality care to the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.
Among its features the CHRONIC Care Act permanently reauthorizes all three types of Special Needs Plans for vulnerable populations and specifies structural improvements to enhance the program. It also allows Medicare Advantage plans to expand access to telemedicine in a responsible manner and to offer a wider array of supplemental benefits, including non-medical services, to chronically ill enrollees. According to Wing this new flexibility will provide health plans the ability “to tailor services to the unmet needs of the individual and address multiple factors including functional and socio-economic status.”
If passed by Congress the CHRONIC Care Act also will allow for a Medicare Advantage plan in any state to participate in the Value-Based Insurance Design Model during the testing phase. This model allows plans to offer supplemental benefits or reduced cost sharing to enrollees with specified chronic conditions with goals of increased access to care, higher adherence rates and greater ability to remain living in the community. The CHRONIC Care Act also allows individuals with end-stage renal disease to enroll in any Medicare Advantage plan beginning in 2021.
Also included in the act is the provision to extend the successful Independence at Home (IAH) demonstration program for an additional two years and expand the number of beneficiaries involved. “The model is proving that connecting providers to homes with social support services not only saves money but provides better, more integrated care,” says Wing, whose own company has been committed to the health and independence of seniors since 1977 through its health plan and its community programs delivered across California.
“We thank Chairman Orrin Hatch along with Ranking Member Ron Wyden and fellow Senators Johnny Isakson and Mark Warner for crafting this bipartisan public policy that intelligently addresses the very real needs of those who live with multiple chronic conditions, those who are eligible for nursing home care, and those who experience difficulty performing activities of daily living,” said Wing. “We were honored to have input during this thoughtful process and are so pleased to see this draft legislation. Now it is time to turn it into law.”
SCAN Health Plan is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans with nearly 170,000 members in California. Part of the SCAN family, SCAN Health Plan is committed to keeping seniors healthy and independent. For more information, visit scanhealthplan.com, visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/scanhealthplan, or follow us on Twitter at @scanhealthplan.
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