Several Democrats on the House Energy and Commerces health subcommittee announced plans at a hearing Wednesday to introduce legislation to improve Medicares efficiency.
Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) is working on a bill to authorize Medicare coverage of geriatric assessment and care management for eligible Medicare beneficiaries. The goal is to better coordinate the care of Medicare seniors who often have multiple chronic conditions and spend a great deal of time seeing specialists.
The bill would also create a new fee schedule for care-management payments. The bill is expected to be introduced in the next few weeks, Green said.
Companion legislation will be sponsored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark). Rep. Thomas Allen (D-Maine) in the meantime plans to introduce a bill to bolster comparative effectiveness research. Comparative effectiveness is the process of comparing healthcare products or tools over time to promote more efficient, higher quality and safer healthcare.
Last week, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommended that Congress should charge an independent entity to sponsor research on comparative effectiveness of healthcare services and disseminate this information to patients, providers and payers. -- by Jennifer Lubell