According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two in three older Americans live with multiple chronic conditions. Chronic conditions may include Alzheimer’s and dementia, arthritis, diabetes, kidney disease, COPD, cardiovascular disease, obesity and more. For many, innovative treatments and therapies allow Americans – and seniors – to manage those conditions while continuing to live longer, healthier lives. In 2014, biopharmaceutical research companies had more than 430 medicines in development targeting chronic conditions affecting seniors.
In an effort to improve care for Medicare beneficiaries managing chronic disease, the Senate Finance Committee formed a bipartisan chronic care working group to look at current laws, discuss policy options and look for bipartisan solutions. Learn more about their initiative here.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) applauds the Committee for its commitment to addressing this issue in the Medicare program and submitted comments with ideas for improving outcomes for Medicare patients with chronic conditions.
Some of these recommendations include:
- Improve medication adherence among Medicare beneficiaries, including strengthening the Part D Medication Therapy Management program. (You can also learn more about adherence through our Ask About Adherence Q&A series.)
- Improve transitions for Medicare Part D beneficiaries who switch plans and have already completed step therapy in another plan.
- Improve beneficiary experience with the Medicare Part D exceptions and appeals process.
- Study how to eliminate barriers and create better alignment between Medicare Part D and other parts of the Medicare program.
- Make sure efforts to test alternative payment models promote access to individualized, high quality care for Medicare patients living with chronic conditions.
- Improve chronic disease management in traditional Medicare.
What are your ideas for improving how Medicare manages chronic conditions? Share them with us. And follow #MedicareMonday on Twitter or subscribe to email updates here.
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.