Allyson Schwartz Outlines the Priorities of the Better Medicare Alliance

The Better Medicare Alliance works to articulate the value of Medicare Advantage and the way it has improved access to care and the right kind of care for millions of beneficiaries, said Allyson Y. Schwartz, president and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance.
Published Online: November 09, 2015


The Better Medicare Alliance works to articulate the value of Medicare Advantage and the way it has improved access to care and the right kind of care for millions of beneficiaries, said Allyson Y. Schwartz, president and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance and former member of the United States House of Representatives for Pennsylvania, at the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Summit held by the University of Michigan's Center for VBID.

Transcript (slightly modified)
What is the purpose of the Better Medicare Alliance and how do you see value-based insurance design fitting into the work that you do?
We're a coalition of stakeholder organizations—I'm talking about insurers, plans, Medicare Advantage plans, provider groups, advocacy groups, and we have a union. So we're growing a coalition of the various stakeholders, including beneficiaries, who care about Medicare Advantage and maintaining and sustaining the value of Medicare Advantage as an option for them within Medicare. What we do is to really work to articulate the value of Medicare Advantage and the way it has improved access to care and the right kind of care for the 17 million seniors and some are people with disabilities who are covered by Medicare. So about a third of people who have the option of Medicare use it and have chosen Medicare Advantage.

What's exciting about being here at the VBID Summit and talking more about value-based insurance design is that we talk a lot about value-based healthcare. And of course the option of insurance companies being able to offer Medicare Advantage and to combine Part A and B, hospital and physician services, and often Part D, and a variety of enhanced benefits, and to do it in a different way that really speaks to what makes a difference in senior's healthcare. We're talking about the focus on primary care, care management, coordination of care, more integrated care, and of course a focus on chronic disease and working to reduce the progression of disease.

Seniors often have multiple chronic conditions, so this kind of coordinated care, attention to what is the best value rather than looking for care they might be able to get and really not getting the right kind of care can make a really big difference in their lives, in their healthcare, and the ability for the healthcare system, including Medicare, to provide the care and services that Medicare beneficiaries require.

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