Medicare Pilot Program Aims to Improve Outcomes

October 26, 2015
A Medicare program aims to improve outcomes. (Photo courtesy of Voraorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

(Photo courtesy of Voraorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Senior citizens and those taking care of elderly loved ones know that one of the challenges with growing old is the number of medications a person takes and the cost associated with those necessary treatments. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), a division of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has announced a new pilot program which hopes to lower costs while improving care.

The test area

Called The Part D Enhanced Medication Therapy Management program (or enhanced MTM for short), this pilot program will be offered in five regions. They are:

Region 7 (Virginia)
Region 11 (Florida)
Region 21 (Louisiana)
Region 25 (North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska)
Region 28 (Arizona)

The program

So what is involved in this pilot program? The Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) in these areas will be offered incentives to design innovative programs, with the goal of improving health outcomes. According to a CMMI press release, the goals are specifically:

  • improving compliance with medication protocols, including high-cost drugs
  • ensuring that beneficiaries get the medications they need and that they are used properly
  • reducing medication-related problems, such as duplicative or harmful prescription drugs and suboptimal treatments
  • increasing patients’ knowledge of their medications to better achieve their goals of therapy
  • improving communication among prescribers, pharmacists, caregivers, and patients

In other words, the CMMI wants the plan providers in these regions to take a look at what can be done to deliver better quality care and to lower the cost of that care. As those taking care of elderly patients know, this is a big challenge.

The CMMI press release does not offer specific information on how these goals will be achieved. But at the end of the five-year pilot project, the results will be assessed. Programs which produced good, reproducible results will presumably be considered for implementation on a larger, perhaps national scale.

When taking care of elderly loved ones, caregivers want to be sure that they are getting the best care available. Here’s hoping that this pilot program brings about changes that can help make that possible.

 

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

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