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Wednesday, 4th November 2009

Experts Favor Broad Medicare Reforms to Control Costs and Foster Health Care Innovations, Survey Says

Experts Favor Broad Medicare Reforms to Control Costs and Foster Health Care Innovations, Survey Says
Source: The Commonwealth Fund

A vast majority of leaders in health care and health policy believe Medicare has been successful in providing access to care and stable coverage to the elderly and disabled individuals; however only a small percentage think the program has realized its potential to achieve other important goals, like using its leverage as the country's largest purchaser of services to control costs and promote a high performance health system. In the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders survey, the experts surveyed favor sweeping changes to Medicareóreforms that would help control program costs and support broader health system reform.

Because of Medicare's unique position as the nation's largest insurance program, it can be an important testing ground for cost and quality innovations. To encourage such development, nearly all respondents favor expanding the power of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to put payment pilot programs on a "fast track" (95%) and to work with private payers and providers to establish multipayer initiatives (94%). Similarly, there was strong support for creation of an independent Medicare advisory council (favored by 75%) with broad authority to collaborate in multi-payer initiatives (89%), develop, test, and implement payment reforms rapidly and flexibly (88%), and alter beneficiary incentives based on effectiveness of services, drugs, and devices (86%).

+ Survey results



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