Over 300 Physician Groups Sign New Letter Urging Congress to Protect Medicare Advantage
FEBRUARY 11, 2015
Washington, D.C. – As CMS prepares to set 2016 Medicare Advantage payment policies, more than 300 organizations representing physicians signed a new letter to members of Congress urging them to protect seniors enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program. The letter was spearheaded by CAPG, the largest association in the country representing physician organizations practicing capitated, coordinated care. “Because of the demonstrated value it delivers, Medicare Advantage is highly popular with our nation’s seniors,” the letter says. “Despite its popularity and importance, the Medicare Advantage program has been hit with deep funding cuts in recent years… We write to ask that you intervene to prevent further cuts.”
You can view the letter and a full list of signees here. Highlights from the letter are below:
- “Medicare Advantage is a critical element in the nation’s movement from volume to value in healthcare… Medicare Advantage is paving the way for the advancement of coordinated care in every other healthcare program.”
- “Medicare Advantage has motivated the deployment of electronic medical records, the expansion of robust quality measurement and reporting, and the movement to team based care, all of which have resulted in better care for seniors.”
- “In addition to improving care and quality of life for seniors, this risk-based coordinated care model has the ability to rein in Medicare spending, unlike fee-for-service and its volume-driven incentives.”
- “Despite its popularity and importance, the Medicare Advantage program has been hit with deep funding cuts in recent years. The CMS rate setting process is on the horizon and is likely to include additional cuts to the program.”
- “We write to ask that you intervene to prevent further cuts. We ask that you implore CMS to grow risk-based coordinated care in Medicare Advantage, not shrink it. Our nation and our seniors deserve nothing less.”
Each year, CMS sets payment rates for Medicare Advantage plans based on a number of factors. Preliminary 2016 rates are expected to be announced on February 20, 2015, with final rates expected April 7, 2015. Since 2010, Medicare Advantage has been cut in a number of ways. Further cuts would hurt seniors even more through reduced benefits, fewer choices, and increased costs.
AHIP’s Coalition for Medicare Choices (CMC) recently launched a new grassroots and ad campaign to protect Medicare Advantage seniors. During the next several weeks, the CMC’s 1.8 million seniors will be writing letters and emails, making phone calls, attending events and engaging on social media to urge policymakers to protect Medicare Advantage as they consider policies that could impact their coverage. The new ads feature the personal stories of CMC members discussing how Medicare Advantage has allowed them to keep what matters most.
Founded in 1999, the Coalition for Medicare Choices is a national grassroots organization of more than 1.8 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.MedicareChoices.org to learn more and follow the Coalition on Facebook and Twitter.