New Medicare program to study preventive programs on elderly

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has disclosed details of a private-sector program to test the effects of health risk reduction efforts on the elderly.

It plans to choose five vendors that will address multiple health risk factors that contribute to chronic diseases, including physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, depression, and high blood pressure. The demonstration vendors will be chosen by April of next year. Applications are due Nov. 1 of this year, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

CMS wants to determine if Medicare costs could be cut if elderly beneficiaries accept a risk reduction service. Beneficiaries currently are not taking advantage of preventive services and screening that can help detect diseases early, CMS said.

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