Will Your Health Care Be Affected By the New Medicare Reforms?

October 4th, 2016 by John Wilson

Healthcare providers are well aware for the past two years, legislators have convened working groups, held hearings and published policy change options related to reforming Medicare. New Medicare reform legislation could come as early as next year. Healthcare providers are following these developments closely because any reforms likely will change how they are paid. As a consumer, you may have read or heard about possible Medicare reform legislation but may not be familiar with the topic. Read on for some of the key things you should know about how the reforms could affect senior health insurance.

Why Change Is Needed

Medicare provides health insurance for senior citizens and younger adults who are disabled, which is a huge percentage of the population. Proponents of reforming the system have concerns about skyrocketing costs, questionable quality of care and inefficient practices across the board. Making healthcare providers more accountable, they argue, would increase efficiency, reduce costs and most importantly, improve the quality of care. Instead of compensating healthcare providers on a fee-for-service basis (paying them based on how many services they provide), the proposed reforms would add a “value of care” component to payments. Providers’ compensation would be affected by metrics, including patient outcome. This would provide a huge incentive to providers to deliver the best care possible.

Learn more about Medicare reform.

What’s the latest on Medicare reform.

A Closer Look at Some of the Proposed Payment Reforms

Policymakers have been studying the following three new healthcare payment models.

What Does All of This Mean for You?

For the most part, beneficiaries of senior health insurance plans should expect to notice minimal, if any, changes in their medical benefits. There is one exception, however. If your primary care doctor decides to shift his practice to a medical home model, you should expect to notice some changes, such as more reliance on teams of clinicians overseeing your medical care as opposed to one individual provider. The bottom line, though? Any reforms that will make physicians more accountable and reward them for delivering better care ultimately will benefit all patients.

Healthcare is a considerable expense for many seniors. So is assisted living. If you are on a budget but need to find a high-quality, caring senior living facility, contact us at Village at Oakwood in Oklahoma City.

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