Chronic care overhaul proposed for Medicare

Billings Gazette, January 16, 2014
It's a familiar problem for families with an elder trying to cope with chronic health conditions: Doctors don't talk to each other, and sometimes they prescribe drugs that work at cross purposes. Nobody seems to look out for the overall health of the patient. With chronic illnesses like heart problems, diabetes and cancer taking a toll on seniors as well as Medicare's budget, a bipartisan group of lawmakers Wednesday proposed a new approach aimed at keeping patients healthier and avoiding hospitalizations. They're calling it the Better Care Program. Teams of doctors, nurses and social workers would get a flat fee per Medicare patient, with fewer strings attached.

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