Challenges of Creating Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefits

Medicare Advantage plans are slow in creating benefits that serve more than medical needs for severely ill members, potentially because designing and implementing a new healthcare benefit is challenging and time-intensive,  researchers from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy found. The Medicare Advantage market is a fertile testing ground for new care delivery models for people with serious illness,” said Robert Saunders, PhD, research director at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and one of the study’s co-authors The program’s capitated payment structure encourages new approaches because plans share in cost savings, earn bonus payments, and receive rebates (that they can use to offer enhanced benefits or reduce member cost sharing) if they are able to reduce costs while maintaining or improving the quality of care delivered, as measured by Medicare’s Star Ratings program

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