Dr Mariétou Ouayogodé Outlines Medicare's Shift From Treatment to Prevention

The provision in the Affordable Care Act to remove cost sharing for preventive care visits created a shift in how Medicare pays with a greater emphasis on prevention and managing chronic diseases, and less on treatment of acute illness, said Mariétou Ouayogodé, PhD, post-doctoral fellow at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.
Published Online: May 18, 2017


The provision in the Affordable Care Act to remove cost sharing for preventive care visits created a shift in how Medicare pays with a greater emphasis on prevention and managing chronic diseases, and less on treatment of acute illness, said Mariétou Ouayogodé, PhD, post-doctoral fellow at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Transcript
How is Medicare becoming more focused on prevention instead of just treatment?
First, you have something that led up to Medicare doing that and that is the provision in the Affordable Care Act removing cost sharing for preventive care visits. And the way Medicare is approaching shifting attention to prevention rather than treatment with accountable care organizations (ACOs) is to focus management or treatment of the entire population. So not just focusing on individuals with acute illnesses, as it was done before.

So before the traditional way of practicing was to manage or even treat individuals with acute illnesses. So usually this will take a lot of time in patients' visits and it will leave very little time to talk about prevention or even chronic care management needs. But now with ACOs, providers have to see patients on the whole spectrum of health statuses and they also have to meet some benchmark on quality measures, meaning they're going to be paid for keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital.

So now there is more emphasis on prevention and chronic care management than before. So this is how Medicare is actually changing or shifting attention to prevention rather than treatment. But this is not to say that treatment is not effective, but prevention does help essentially reduce costs basically in the long run.


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