For many people, thinking about Medicare does not necessarily invoke feelings of trust and excellence in service, but perhaps we can rest a little easier knowing that behind the scenes the American College of Physicians is working to ensure high-quality care in Medicare, and a recently released policy paper offers some hope for those who rely on the system. One of the main points of the plan is that of improved patient experience, from reducing the costs of prescriptions to expanding the level of care received to that of palliative care, pain relief, and psychological services. In the article below, from Medical News Today, we find out a little more about what may be in store for the future of the care in Medicare.
American College of Physicians is Working to Ensure High-Quality Care in Medicare
American College of Physicians says stakeholders across health care spectrum must work together to protect Medicare for future generations.
A dozen recommendations to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to high-quality, coordinated care were provided today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The new policy paper, ‘Reforming Medicare in the Age of Deficit Reduction’ *[PDF], was released at Internal Medicine 2012, ACP’s annual scientific meeting.
“This position paper considers the potential advantages and disadvantages of proposals to reform Medicare in an attempt to quell rising Medicare/health care costs. Options such as transforming Medicare into a premium support program, increasing the Medicare eligibility age, and applying income-based Medicare premiums are discussed.” Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, MACP, president of ACP said “We have long supported efforts to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries have access to affordable, high quality, coordinated care, so want to have evidence that a revised system would meet these criteria.”
ACP specifically offered these recommendations for ensuring Medicare’s solvency, reducing costs, and maintaining access to affordable care for beneficiaries:
- The Medicare program must lead a paradigm shift in the nation’s health care system by testing and accelerating adoption of new care models that improve population health, enhance the patient experience, and reduce per-beneficiary cost.
- To improve the way health care is delivered and ensure the future of primary care, the College recommends that Medicare accelerate adoption of the patient centered medical home model and provide severity-adjusted monthly bundled care coordination payments, prospective payments per eligible patient, fee-for-service payments for visits, and performance assessment-based payments tied to quality, patient satisfaction and efficiency measures. Original Article Here
While it is true that we still have a way to go in improving the overall system , it is a relief to know that we still have doctors who care more about the service patients receive, and we can at least be assured by the fact that American College of Physicians is working to ensure high-quality care in Medicare so that the patients who rely on it can receive the care they deserve.