This report recommends policy changes so that Medicare can pay for non-medical supports and services, such as meal delivery, transportation, and case management, to improve outcomes and lower costs for patients with complex needs.
- Evidence suggests that non-medical services and supports could help avoid costly emergency care for frail and chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries.
- This analysis defines people with complex needs as those beneficiaries who are not dually eligible for Medicaid, live at home, have three or more chronic conditions, and have functional limitations.
- The analysis projects that Medicare spends about $30,000 per patient annually on caring for people with complex needs, more than twice the average of Medicare fee-for-service patients.
- The report recommends that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services make specific changes in regard to rules and regulations in the following areas: risk adjustment and quality measurement incentives, Medicare Advantage, and accountable care organizations and medical homes.
- How much does Medicare spend on patients with complex needs as compared to other patient populations?
- Which social services might Medicare cover to improve outcomes for patients with complex needs?
- What policy changes are necessary to allow Medicare to cover non-medical services?
- What are the limitations of these recommended policy changes?