Families USA, Community Catalyst, and over 45 national organizations representing health care stakeholders sent this letter to Congressional leadership, urging them to heed the strong message sent by the midterm elections and pursue an agenda that ensures the best health and health care are equally accessible and affordable to all. On November 6, voters from across the country and from all walks of life voted for high quality and affordable health care.
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is the biggest change to how Medicare pays for services in decades. It will accelerate the movement towards value-based payments—where what health care providers get paid depends, at least partially, on the quality of care they provide, not just the volume of services. On June 27, Families USA submitted comments about how the law will be implemented.
Last Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule to implement key provisions of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act. Passed with bipartisan support in 2015, MACRA represents is an important opportunity to improve the quality of care delivered through Medicare. Given the number of people who are enrolled in Medicare and the number of providers who see Medicare patients, these changes will have a significant impact throughout the entire health care system.
As drug prices continue to rise at an unsustainable rate, we must ensure that our health care system and its financial incentives enhance the quality and value of care. We believe the Medicare Part B prescription drug model proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) creates value for the patient and the program by encouraging treatment choices that have been shown to improve care and health outcomes.
Efforts to shift to a value-based health care system create an opportunity to improve the quality of care and health outcomes, save money for consumers and the health care system as a whole, and drive reductions in health disparities. But such positive outcomes from payment and delivery reform efforts are not guaranteed. There are some elements of this proposed rule that can help reduce health disparities, but a real commitment to health equity requires additional steps from CMS.
Nobody wants a root canal, but millions of Americans with mouth pain know it might be their best shot at protecting a tooth and stopping an infection from spreading—if they can afford it. Oral health affects all health and too many people in this country cannot access care. That’s why the Senate is considering the Action for Dental Health Act. But this measure should be the first appointment on our nation’s oral health checkup.
2:00 p.m.—We at Families USA have had a blast the past three days. Meeting all of you hard-working advocates has been inspiring and energizing for us. Relive Health Action 2015 by checking out our highlights blog and video of our plenary session on Medicaid and CHIP.
Thanks for being a part of our 20th annual gathering in Washington, D.C., hope to see you next year!
Medicare doesn’t cover one part of the body that causes many health problems—the mouth. Two-thirds of the seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare do not have any oral health coverage and their health is worse for it. Millions of people could live healthier, happier lives if oral health coverage is added to Medicare.
5:30 p.m.—We just heard from two leading thinkers in health policy debate some of the most pressing issues related to access to affordable health care in America.
In a wide-ranging discussion that covered everything from Medicaid policy to children’s benefits on the exchanges to the ACA’s subsidies, these two feisty policy wonks hashed out their visions for the future while reflecting on the past year.