Healthcare experts said Medicare has not used its purchasing power to improve healthcare quality or promote healthier lifestyles, but there was an overwhelming consensus among the 230 experts that the program has boosted seniors' access to care. Some 21% of the experts surveyed online by the Commonwealth Fund said Medicare has managed to use its market leverage to improve quality. Only 12% said the program has succeeded in promoting healthier lifestyles and preventive care. Some 92% of the experts said Medicare has provided stable coverage and guaranteed access to basic care for seniors, and 71% said it has provided financial protection for seniors. The majority -- 89% and 87%, respectively -- said Medicare in the future should use its size to speed adoption of electronic health records and should pay bonuses to providers for high quality and efficient care. Read the survey results. -- by Tony Fong
Medicare boosted access; quality next challenge: experts
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