Are Accountable Care Organizations Improving Care for Medicare Patients?

The Medicare program is busy trying out new ways of paying for medical care that are designed to improve care and lower spending. One of the most important of these initiatives offers financial incentives to groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, known as Accountable Care Organizations (or ACOs), that agree to share responsibility for delivering medical services to their patients. The idea is that when providers coordinate their efforts they will be able to improve the quality …

Medicare Does Not Pay for Long-Term Care

Many consumers and policymakers mistakenly believe that Medicare – the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older and some younger people with disabilities – pays for long-term care. It does not, as stated in the official Medicare handbook. Millions of Medicare enrollees must pay for long-term care services (such as personal assistance at home, assisted living, and nursing home care) entirely from their own income and savings. Confusion often stems from misinterpretation of coverage provided by Medicare’s …