CHRONIC Care Act Passes in the Senate

Senate passes CHRONIC Care Act

Tuesday night, the Senate unanimously passed the CHRONIC Care Act, a bill whose goal is to make Medicare more efficient and save money overall for Medicare’s programs.

The bipartisan bill expands some of the less controversial programs created by the Affordable Care Act.

With around 80% of older Americans suffering at least one chronic condition, and more than three-fourths suffering at least two, this act comes at a very important time. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) said, “Today is a big day in the ongoing effort to update and strengthen Medicare’s guarantee to seniors.”

Short for “Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care,” The CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 seeks to strengthen the care and improve the health results for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses and complex needs, while also targeting Medicare payment reform.

“This legislation will improve disease management, lower Medicare costs and streamline care coordination services – all without adding to the deficit,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

A primary focus of the bill is to expand telehealth and other services that benefit patients who are homebound. The bill also gives new tools to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), or groups of doctors that work together to coordinate a patient’s care, specifically in making sure patients take their proper medications when they need to. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah was the sponsor of the bill, which was introduced in April 2017. The Senate Finance Committee held an open hearing on the bill in May and unanimously approved the legislation shortly after.

Now, Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden are urging the House to pass the bill. 

See more details of the legislation here.

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