Coordinating Care for Medicare Fee-for-Service Beneficiaries: An Early Look

Trends in Health Care Financing, Issue Brief #6
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Dec 30, 2005
Randall Brown, Deborah Peikes, and Jennifer Schore
The Medicare Coordinated Care Demonstration aims to improve health outcomes and reduce Medicare costs for chronically ill beneficiaries by encouraging adherence to self-care and medication regimens and improving communication among physicians. This issue brief, based on a report to Congress, presents early descriptive findings from 15 programs participating in the first year of the demonstration. Early experiences show that (1) recruiting patients was challenging, (2) most of the 10,000 beneficiaries enrolled in the first year have serious chronic illnesses, and (3) early survey data on small samples of beneficiaries and physicians suggest that the programs are popular with both groups. However, the estimates also suggest that it may be difficult to change beneficiaries' adherence to recommended medication, exercise, and diet regimens.