With the passage of the so-called Chronic Care Act (CCA), Congress has taken a large step in the direction of making Medicare available for the management and prevention of certain disabling conditions, rather than simply paying doctors to treat these conditions. Traditionally, Medicare has reimbursed doctors and hospitals for the services they provide. This approach did not do much to mitigate the consequences of such long-term health problems and diabetes, arthritis, and Parkinson's disease.
An Ounce Of Cure
Under CCA, Medicare will now pay for interventions that could reduce the amount of hands-on medical care that these disabling
conditions require. These interventions could include things like in-home visits by nurses or therapists. Such visits could spot and redress problems that might become acute otherwise, resulting in hospitalization or other invasive treatments.
The Doctor Will C U Now
CCA will further provide monetary incentives to healthcare providers who use what is often called "TeleHealth." This simply means that doctors at a distance can review a patient's care via the Internet with the use of cameras and microphones. The thinking beyond this incentive is that a small hospital might not have a specialist available to address unusual medical issues. But, if such an expert can examine the patient's situation remotely, the specialist could direct treatment that could forestall a patient getting worse.
Can I Get A Referral To A Plumber?
CCA will also authorize remedies that are not even medical. For example, paying a handyman to install handrails in a shower or make other modifications to a home that might prevent a fall or other injury. CCA will also boost the use of taxis to help patients get to their medical appointments.
Good News For The Disabled.
It seems apparent that addressing the issues that cause medical problems, rather than just treating those problems later, is a smart idea. If you are disabled and in need of some of the services CCA provides, contact Medicare or your Medicare supplement provider.