Dr Jeffrey Lowenkron Discusses the Impacts of Medicare Advantage Expansion on Oncology Care

April 18, 2020

The expansion of Medicare Advantage benefits patients, but presents challenges in oncology care, said Jeffrey Lowenkron, MD, chief medical officer of The Villages Health.

The expansion of Medicare Advantage benefits patients, but presents challenges in oncology care, said Jeffrey Lowenkron, MD, chief medical officer of The Villages Health.

Transcript:

Is the expansion of Medicare Advantage a plus or a minus for oncology care, in your view?

I think the expansion of Medicare Advantage, it's always a plus for the patient. Because what Medicare Advantage does, as opposed to the fee-for-service world, is it links and aligns patient outcomes with care delivery. As patients do better, the care delivery systems do better, and as patients do worse, the care delivery systems do worse. In the typical fee-for-service model, generally the care delivery system can do really, really well, and the patients may do very, very poorly. They don't have to align. So from the perspective of the patients, it's always a better care model and payment model to be in Medicare Advantage than traditional fee-for-service.

From the oncology perspective specifically, there are going to be some challenges because obviously with the expansiveness of very expensive medications in the oncology world, the difficulty of figuring out how to pay for those, is a real challenge. I can't tell you whether it's going to be better or worse for them over time.