Key Portman Health Care Priorities Pass Senate as Part of CHRONIC Care Act

September 29, 2017 | Press Releases

Measures Passed as Part of Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Focus on Chronic Care Services for Seniors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that several of his health care priorities have unanimously passed the Senate as part of the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act. The bipartisan bill will improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic conditions.

“The CHRONIC Care Act will help strengthen our health care system by empowering patients with tools they need to better manage their health care and increasing the coordination of care to help patients and providers better manage chronic conditions,” said Portman.  “The bill also includes a number of priorities I have worked on, including ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries can receive high-quality, personalized care at home, incentivizing beneficiaries to receive preventive services and better manage their health care, and ensuring the Medicare Advantage program includes accurate quality measures to incentivize plans to continue to care for low-income seniors.”

Following is more specifics on key Portman priorities passed as part of the CHRONIC Care Act:

Independence at Home Act (IAH) Extension. This bill would extend the IAH demonstration’s expiration date by two years (until September 30, 2019), increase the cap on the total number of participating beneficiaries from 10,000 to 15,000, and give practices three years to receive a shared savings payment.

“I have seen the benefits the Independence at Home program has provided for seniors in Northeast Ohio—it has reduced hospital readmissions, prevented costly hospital and nursing home admissions, and, most importantly, kept patients healthy and in their preferred care setting,” said Portman.  “I am pleased the committee included a two-year extension of this program in the CHRONIC Care Act to ensure beneficiaries in Ohio and across the country can continue to receive high-quality care in their preferred setting—at home.  I will continue to fight to make the Independence at Home program permanent.”

Better Health Rewards Program in the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Setting.  The CHRONIC Care Act includes a new program called the ACO Beneficiary Incentive Program, which would allow ACOs to make incentive payments to their members who seek out preventive care or chronic disease management services.

“I am particularly pleased the Senate has passed a measure that draws on the idea of the Better Health Rewards bill I have worked on with Senator Wyden. This program will allow Medicare to engage seniors in their healthcare—incentivizing seniors to set goals and meet health targets,” said Portman.  “We should continue to promote programs that allow seniors the option to participate in programs that allow them to take control over their health care – enabling them to live better, healthier lives while also saving the Medicare system money without making cuts to benefits.”

Ensuring Medicare Advantage Quality Measures Account for the Most Vulnerable Population.  The bill includes a provision that builds on Portman’s work with Senator Casey to ensure the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries—including low-income, disabled, and dually-eligible seniors—are able to maintain access to high-quality Medicare Advantage plans.

A section-by-section summary of the CHRONIC Care Act can be found here.

A one-page summary of the CHRONIC Care Act can be found here.

The legislative text of the CHRONIC Care Act can be found here.