Increasing Access to Services in Medicare

Background

Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… beneficiaries’ access to health care services is similar to or better than that of privately insured people age 50–64. But, like privately insured individuals, they may face access problems in geographic areas with provider shortages or have to travel long distances for specialty care.

In a 2018 report, the Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) found that nearly all physicians take part in Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… and among those about 95 percent agree to accept Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… fee schedule amounts as full payment. Less than 1 percent of physicians opt out of Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… and do not receive any Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… payment, directly or indirectly, for any Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… beneficiaries they treat.

The MedPAC report concluded that Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… beneficiaries’ access to physician services is similar to or better than that of privately insured people age 50–64. In 2017, 80 percent of Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… beneficiaries age 65 and older who needed an appointment for illness or injury during the prior 12 months reported that they never had to wait longer than they wanted, as did 73 percent of those seeking an appointment for routine care. However, among beneficiaries who were looking for a new primary care provider, about 14 percent reported significant problems finding one.

AARP has heard reports of access problems in some geographic areas, which appear to reflect general provider shortages (that is, not just in Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… ). In some cases, beneficiaries must travel long distances for certain specialty care. If MedPAC analyses identify a national problem, a broader discussion of workforce and payment policies should take place. Even if the problem is localized, it may merit the development of policies to improve beneficiaries’ ability to receive appropriate, high-quality services.

INCREASING ACCESS TO SERVICES IN MEDICARE: Policy

Timely monitoring and evaluation

In this policy: Federal

The Centers for Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) should regularly monitor and evaluate beneficiaries’ access to quality care. The care should include physician and other Part B services provided in all settings, regionally as well as nationally. Access for members of historically disadvantaged groups should be a special focus.

Public information and special populations

In this policy: Federal

CMS should continue making public the Medicare Authorized in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, Medicare provides health insurance coverage for people age 65 and older and for some disabled people under age 65. This federal program consists of Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance), Part… Current Beneficiary Survey data on access, health care utilization, and other relevant information. The agency also should pay particular attention to access problems of special or potentially disadvantaged populations. These include beneficiaries in rural areas and U.S. territories and commonwealths; people with disabilities; individuals with low incomes; members of historically disadvantaged groups; beneficiaries with end-stage renal disease; and people living in institutions such as nursing facilities and in communities where access problems are common because of a shortage of health care personnel.

Research

In this policy: Federal

Both CMS and MedPAC should increase research into the causes of access problems, especially those MedPAC identified in its analyses. Particular attention should be given to research that includes older people with multiple chronic conditions and people with disabilities.