Better benefits management, introduction of Part E could improve Medicare

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To achieve both cost savings and quality improvements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should consider a significantly broader approach to managing Medicare benefits, according to a recent report from the American Medical Association.

Managing Medicare benefits based on the value they provide beneficiaries, rather than simply cutting costs, would be a better approach in terms of healthcare reform, said Dr. Robert Berenson at a recent policy forum hosted by America's Health Insurance Plans. Better fraud and abuse recognition is also needed to reduce costs and improve services, he said.

A more efficient Medicare program would also include the Medicare Part E concept, Berenson said. Part E would provide catastrophic coverage, which would improve cost-sharing, he said. With Part E, some beneficiaries might no longer need to purchase supplemental medigap insurance, according to AMNews.