Improving Medicare’s Ability to Serve Patients Needing Complex Care

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<p>The final issue brief in our <em>Medicare at 50 Years</em> series envisions a new benefit option for seniors requiring complex care, including those with multiple chronic illnesses or long-term physical or cognitive impairment. </p><p>A long-recognized shortcoming of Medicare is its lack of coverage for home- and community-based services, which enable people with complex conditions to live independently. While Medicaid does cover this care, less than a third of Medicare beneficiaries with complex care needs qualify for Medicaid.</p>
<p>As lifespans lengthen, Medicare must adapt so it can help more older adults avoid institutional care, say researchers Marilyn Moon, Ilene L. Hollin, Lauren H. Nicholas, Cathy Schoen, and Karen Davis. The new benefit option they outline would cover all nonmedical services that support independence, allow services to be tailored to each beneficiary’s needs, and ensure that cost-sharing is affordable.</p>
<p>To read other papers in our series on Medicare’s past, present, and future, visit the <em></em><a href="/publications/publication/2015/jun/medicare-50-years-series"><em>Medicare at 50 Years</em> page</a>. And watch for our downloadable <em>Medicare at 50 Years</em> e-book, coming soon.</p> Read more