Senators propose solutions for chronic conditions care

A bipartisan Senate group has released a set of policies targeting treatment for Medicare beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

The policies, outlined in a paper released last week by the Senate Finance Committee's Chronic Care Working Group, proposes several policy initiatives to improve chronic condition care. Among the proposed policies are expanding home care models, providing hospice benefits to Medicare Advantage enrollees and eliminating barriers to care coordination under Accountable Care Organizations.

The paper also recommends taking steps to ensure that providers participating in Medicare are appropriately paid for and evaluated on the care they provide to beneficiaries with chronic conditions.

“As our population ages and individuals are surviving acute illnesses to an extent previously unimaginable, one of the next big challenges for our nation's healthcare system is how to effectively deliver care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions,” ‎said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), co-chair of the working group, in a press release. ““Given the fragmentation of the Medicare program, this won't be an easy task, and won't happen overnight."

The working group also included Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA).