Better Health NOW:  Primary Care Must Be At Center of Payment Reform Bill 

On April 24th, the Primary Care Collaborative and its Better Health – NOW Campaign urged the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to put primary care at the center of planned Medicare payment legislation. 

“To address the rising tide of chronic disease discussed…,policymakers must fix the underlying flaws in Medicare Part B’s payment policies,” according to a  Statement for the Record submitted for the April 11th hearing, Bolstering Chronic Care Through Medicare Payment

The Campaign’s statement called for reorienting Medicare to support primary and preventive care: 

  • Require Medicare and other federal programs to report primary care expenditures as a percentage of overall health care dollars 

  • Establish a well-constructed hybrid payment option, broadly available to Medicare primary care 

  • Make Medicare more affordable for beneficiaries, removing cost-sharing for primary care hybrid payments, chronic care management and behavioral health integration services 

  • Accelerate Primary Care-Behavioral Health Integration in Medicare, through bipartisan legislation like the COMPLETE Care Act  

Noting that the success of any Medicare payment reform depends on alignment with other payers, Better Health – NOW also encouraged the Finance Committee to advance targeted policy steps this year that support constructive state Medicaid and private market primary care innovations - including community health center funding, youth mental health improvements and improved coverage for primary care in high-deductible health plans. 

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