Effective? Yes. Needs work? Definitely. That's what Opinion Leaders are saying about Medicare. As part of the 20th Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Opinion Leaders survey, 215 experts offered their views on what needs to be done to keep Medicare afloat when baby boomers start turning 65 and how Medicare can use its purchasing leverage to improve quality.
Opinion Leaders tackle Medicare reform
Most participants (83%) said they believe Medicare is “extremely” or “very” successful at providing guaranteed access to basic medical care for the elderly and the disabled. However, only 6% of those surveyed believe the program is very successful at using its purchasing leverage to improve quality of care, and just 4% believe Medicare is extremely or very successful at using its leverage to control costs. Additionally, 81% of Opinion Leaders said that they “strongly” or “somewhat” favor using Medicare's leverage to negotiate drug prices.
Finally, only 19% of the survey's respondents said they strongly or somewhat favor reducing Medicare payments to providers across the board. However, 63% said they strongly or somewhat favor reducing payments to providers in high-cost areas.
Full coverage of the survey results—as well as commentaries by Gail Wilensky, senior fellow at Project HOPE, and Bruce Vladeck, senior adviser at Nexera, a subsidiary of the Greater New York Hospital Association—will be published Nov. 2 in Modern Healthcare, and online at ModernHealthcare.com and at commonwealthfund.org.
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