New Medicare Dashboard Improves Medical Documentation For People with Multiple Conditions

April 11th, 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the launch of its Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard, a valuable tool for physicians, researchers and policymakers. In line with the Affordable Care Act's goals for prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions, the dashboard will track medical documentation such as where multiple conditions occur, what services are being provided and how much Medicare is spending on patients who suffer from more than one chronic illness. CMS say the new tool has two major positive implications. 

  1. Improve overall care. The dashboard will help researchers and physicians better understand how certain overlapping medical conditions are related to overall health. Identifying common conditions among multiple patients will lead to better preventative measures, improve health outcomes and offer a more patient-centered approach. Two-thirds of Medicare recipients have two or more chronic conditions. Improving their treatment will have a substantial effect on overall health. 
  2. Support new policies. Policies to decrease costs are necessary, but hard to implement. Cutting benefits or physician reimbursement is not a popular choice and jeopardizes the quality of care. Dashboard data provides the needed analytics to propose new policies to streamline treatment and preventative measures for people with multiple chronic conditions. How much of a difference could this make? In 2011, $276 million was spent on Medicare beneficiaries with two or more chronic illnesses, approximately 93 percent of total Medicare spending. New policies based on solid data will help reduce costs while providing improved care. 

Findings based on dashboard data will contribute to transforming Medicare into a value-based purchaser instead of a fee-for-service payer. The goal of this transformation is for Medicare to pay based on quality and efficiency of care instead of just the volume of services. As the dashboard develops, the CMS will no doubt announce further information about gathering the data.

For additional information please visit:  http://www.hhs.gov/open/plan/opengovernmentplan/transparency/dataset.html#cms

Tags: Chronic Condition Dashboard

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