For those on Medicare with a chronic condition, help is on its way. The better care, lower cost act of 2014 allows for physician groups to be more involved in the care assessment and treatment of those on Medicare with a chronic illness.
Sponsored by Ron Wyden (D – OR), Johnny Isakson (R – GA), Erick Paulsen (R – MN), and Peter Welch (D – VT), this law calls for groups of providers, called Better Care Plans (BCP’s), to provide inpatient and outpatient services, including the creation of an individual care plan within a team.
Medicare will approve 250 BCP’s nationwide. It excludes long-term care support services; however a BCP can pay for transportation to an office visit, arrange for home healthcare visits, and approve installation of durable medical equipment (DME) in the home. These services will not be required, but encouraged.
Once again, this law would cover only Chronic Illness Plans, which by the way, are already in place. The problem is the Chronic Illness Plans currently in force only cover certain chronic conditions.
There are two schools of thought. For one, we should just expand the Chronic Illness Plans we currently have. Or, we should scrap what we have, and institute this new law. The jury is still out.