Health Insurance Reform Project Helps Design Program to Improve Health Care for Medicare Recipients with Multiple Chronic Illnesses

Health Insurance Reform Project: Medicare, access, and quality

    • January 17, 2011

From 2003 to 2004, staff from the Health Insurance Reform Project (HIRP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan program at George Washington University, worked with staff from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help design a program to improve the quality of care and life for people with multiple chronic illnesses.

The program—called Medicare Health Support—helps fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries adhere to their physicians' health care advice and obtain appropriate medical care to reduce their health risks.

One month after this grant began, Congress authorized Medicare Health Support programs with the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act. In four small, "off-the-record" meetings, project staff helped CMS staff obtain expert, nonpartisan input on the design, implementation and evaluation of Medicare Health Support.

Key Results

In four small, "off-the-record" meetings, project staff helped CMS staff obtain expert, nonpartisan input on the design, implementation and evaluation of Medicare Health Support:

  • A January 2004 meeting to discuss how to shape the program to improve fee-for-service Medicare performance.
  • A June 2004 meeting to discuss opportunities and challenges in monitoring the performance of the program.
  • A July 2004 meeting to see what Medicare could learn from Medicaid's disease management programs.
  • A December 2004 meeting (shortly after the end of the grant period) to identify hurdles and strategies for enhancing the integration of program data by using health information technologies.