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Medicare Overhaul Considered For Chronic Care

WASHINGTON (January 15, 2014) A bipartisan group of lawmakers is proposing a new approach to health care aimed at avoiding hospital stays for older people, when possible.

Under what the group is calling the Better Care Program, teams of doctors, nurses and social workers would get a flat fee for each Medicare patient, with few strings attached.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who’s expected to take command of the Finance Committee, which oversees Medicare, is a key player in crafting the proposal.

The lawmakers banded together in search of new options in the belief that communications between and among physicians sometimes is lacking and physicians occasionally prescribe drugs that work at cross purposes.

The spur for the group's establishment was concern about older Medicare beneficiaries who often have to deal with two or more chronic conditions.


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