A new Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report recommends ending the Medicare Advantage bonus program, saying it will waste the $8.3 billion earmarked over the next ten years.
According to the Associated Press
"Medicare Advantage is a popular private insurance alternative to the traditional health care program for seniors. More than 3,000 private plans serve nearly 12 million beneficiaries, about one-fourth of Medicare recipients. They offer lower out-of-pocket costs, usually in exchange for some limitations on choice."Patients may find that they are excluded from seeing their physical therapist in private practice, as one common limitation on their choice.
According to the New York Times...
"In the 2010 health care law, Congress cut Medicare payments to managed care plans, known as Medicare Advantage, and authorized $8.3 billion in bonus payments to those that provide high-quality care. OIG investigators found that most of the money paid under the demonstration program went to “average-performing plans” rated lower than the benchmarks set by Congress."Rather than paying bonuses to profitable insurance companies why not put that money into providers, like physicians and physical therapists, with modern tools for imroving quality of care like improved access to hospitals' Electronic Medical Records?