Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz released the following statement in response to passage of key Medicare Advantage provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives:
“Bipartisan Budget Agreement represents a significant achievement for Congress and many stakeholders in the health community who are fighting for modern health care delivery to meet the needs of aging Americans.
“For the past two years, BMA worked with lawmakers to advance policies to support evidence-based care models and services in Medicare Advantage that are successfully improving health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries with complex medical conditions.
“There are few Americans who do not know someone who is concerned about the cost of coverage, or who has a pre-existing illness, is living with a serious chronic condition, or caring for an aging loved one. Due to actions taken by Congress, Medicare Advantage plans now have greater flexibility to offer a wider array of supplemental benefits to address chronic conditions, there is greater opportunity for Medicare Advantage plans to include innovative technologies in telemedicine, and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans designed to provide team-based care for dual-eligible, chronically ill, and institutionalized beneficiaries now have the promise of stability to grow.
“Medicare Advantage has proven success in providing preventive services, coordinated care, chronic disease management, and pioneering value-based models of care. We applaud Congress for approving expansion of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model to all states.
“We are also pleased that Congress took action to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board. While I served in Congress, I worked to help build a strong bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill to oppose IPAB and I am glad it has come to fruition.
“For the past year, BMA has led advocacy efforts in the Beltway in support of many policies
approved today by Congress – particularly the CHRONIC Care Act and permanent authorization of SNPs – by galvanizing ally organizations in our coalition and launching grassroots advocacy efforts with senior advocates energized by the prospect of modernizing Medicare to build healthier lives for those with chronic conditions. We thank policymakers for working with many important voices to ensure progress.”