Defining Quality Healthcare for Retirees: New Strategies for Achieving a High-Quality Health Care Systems
At the age of 65, it’s often difficult to adjust to a new life as a retiree. But one area that can ease this adjustment is healthcare.
When you retire from your career and enter into retirement, you will find there are many options for how people choose their health care. Many seniors rely on Medicare or private insurance plans as an option–but all too often these plans don’t provide access to quality healthcare at affordable rates.
In this article, we focus on how seniors can ensure high-quality care during retirement by looking at possible solutions in terms of Medicare reform, private insurance plans reform,, and public options (i.e., free clinics).
Table of Contents
How Do Older Adults Define Quality Healthcare?
Older adults generally have different healthcare needs and preferences than younger adults. They may require more frequent or specialized care and may prefer to receive care in-home care services or communities rather than in hospitals or nursing homes.
The quality of health care for one person can look completely different for another. As Medicare insurance agents, we talk with a lot of older adults and each person has their own view on what health services they need, how they define quality care, and which health plan is best for them.
What is important to older adults:
Older adults often prioritize different aspects of healthcare than younger adults. They may place higher importance on factors such as continuity of care, communication with providers, and respect for their autonomy.
As they age and become less mobile and home healthcare will be vital to help with activities of daily living for those individuals who are housebound is a must.
How do older adults want to be involved in their care:
Older adults typically want to be more involved in decisions about their healthcare than younger adults. They may want to discuss all treatment options with their provider and have a say in which treatments are used.
Depending on the Medicare plan they can afford they may or may not have much say in their treatment plan. As Americans, it is critical that we support quality care for our families who are most in need.
Medicare Beneficiaries who end up in skilled nursing homes may require 24/7 live-in care. The current healthcare system only provides coverage for up to 100 days which simply is not enough for many older adults.
These types of limitations decrease the quality of care and health of those who are in most need.
Which Medicare Insurance Company Ranks Highest for Providing Quality Health Care to Seniors?
While Kaiser is the current winner, many people have a love-hate relationship when it comes to Kaiser. In addition, their Medicare Advantage plans are more costly especially when considering the Medicare Part D prescription drug costs.
People judge rankings by their own personal experience based on who provides the highest level of care in their specific situation. Individuals insured with Kaiser who have a bad experience may feel stuck and locked into a closed ecosystem.
Health services for individuals are very personalized as they have specific relationships with their doctors. Many people love Anthem Blue Cross as they have had great success with their customer service and billing department while others may have had nothing but problems.
As we evaluate a health policy and the insurance company it is with we do our best to ensure these companies are providing our clients with the needed health care services.
Which Medicare Program Provides the Highest Quality of Care?
Does Original Medicare Provide the Highest Quality of Healthcare?
Original Medicare is a health insurance program that is administered by the federal government. It is available to all U.S. citizens and legal residents who are 65 years of age or older, as well as to those under 65 who have certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease.
Original Medicare provides beneficiaries with a wide range of benefits, including hospitalization coverage, doctor visits, preventive care, and prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries can also add on supplemental insurance plans also known as Medigap plans to help cover costs not covered by Original Medicare.
While Original Medicare provides beneficiaries with comprehensive coverage, there are some drawbacks to the program. One major drawback is that it does not cover all medical expenses; beneficiaries are responsible for paying deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments out of pocket unless they purchase a Medigap policy.
Additionally, Original Medicare does not provide coverage for long-term care or dental care. Separate insurance policies are required to fill in these additional gaps in coverage.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Provide the Highest Quality of Healthcare?
Medicare Advantage is a type of health insurance that is offered by private health insurance companies contracted by Medicare to provide all Part A and Part B benefits.
Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare and are allowed to provide additional benefits in addition to the core benefits provided by Original Medicare. Many plans do not charge an additional premium but rather pass on copays, coinsurance, and deductibles at the time of use.
There are potential drawbacks of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is that you may have to pay more for your care than you would with Original Medicare. In addition, most Medicare Advantage plans are HMO plans which means retirees are faced with a limited network of doctors and medical facilities.
Medicare Advantage plans typically require prior authorizations and referral to see a specialist. These requirements reduce the quality and safety of those who need urgent care that is not deemed an emergency.
Older adults who have health complications that require help do not need lines to wait for medical services, but rather immediate help.
A quality improvement initiative may help in fixing Medicare Advantage plans by removing prior authorizations and referrals from the Medicare program. These requirements do not exist on Original Medicare with a Medigap plan.
Do Medigap Plans Plans Provide the Highest Quality of Healthcare?
Medigap is a type of health insurance that is designed to supplement Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies and can help pay for some of the out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
There are a number of different Medigap plan types that are standardized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Each of these 10 available plans comes with a different set of benefits based on your healthcare needs.
Medigap plans can help cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Some Medigap plans also offer additional benefits that Original Medicare does not cover, such as coverage for foreign travel emergency care.
There are several benefits to enrolling in a Medigap plan, including:
- Help with paying for out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare
- Coverage for services that Original Medicare does not cover
- The peace of mind knowing you have extra protection in place
- Freedom to go to any medical facility
- Open Access to health professionals that accept Medicare
- No network restrictions
- Predictable healthcare costs
- Referrals are not required
- No prior authorization requirements
- No step therapy requirements
What are the New Strategies for Achieving High-Quality Health Systems for Retirees on Medicare?
The Affordable Care Act has changed the landscape of healthcare in America.
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of quality measures that must be met in order to receive reimbursement from Medicare. This has put pressure on healthcare providers to improve the quality of care they deliver.
One way to improve quality is to focus on high-risk patients and ensure that they receive the best possible care.
Another strategy is to use data and analytics to identify areas where quality can be improved.
Finally, it is important to engage patients and families in their own care so that they can be active participants in achieving high-quality health outcomes.
What are the Benefits of these New Strategies for Medicare Beneficiaries?
The new strategies for achieving high-quality health systems put an emphasis on the quality of care and quality assurance. This means that beneficiaries can expect to receive better care overall as they include health care quality indicators and are not just focused on meeting a budget.
The focus on quality also means that beneficiaries will have better access to preventive care and screenings, which can help them stay healthy and avoid costly medical problems down the road.
The new strategies for achieving high-quality health systems are also designed to reduce costs. While cost reduction should not be the primary factor it should be considered.
By improving the quality of care, reducing unnecessary tests and procedures, and making other improvements, the cost of healthcare should go down for Medicare beneficiaries.
Finally, the new strategies for achieving high-quality health systems should improve access to care for Medicare beneficiaries.
By improving coordination between different types of providers, increasing the use of technology, and making other changes, beneficiaries should find it easier to get the care they need when they need it.
With improved quality across all levels of care, seniors can be assured they will not be forgotten when they are in the most need.
How will these New Strategies Improve Healthcare Quality?
The new strategies will improve communication and coordination between healthcare providers, leading to better patient care. This will allow healthcare providers to focus on quality improvement initiatives, leading to better patient outcomes.
These new strategies will also increase transparency and accountability in the healthcare system, leading to improved patient safety.
Following are a few examples:
- By establishing a central repository for all patient medical records. This would allow all providers treating a patient to have access to the same information, preventing errors and duplication of services. This is where Kaiser and the VA medical system shine.
- Focus on quality improvement can lead to better patient outcomes by implementing standardized protocols for care. This would ensure that all patients receive the same high level of care, regardless of which provider they see.
- Increased transparency can improve patient safety by making public the results of hospital inspections and quality measures. This would allow patients to make informed decisions about where to seek care and hold hospitals accountable for their performance.
- Decrease litigation so doctors and hospitals can get back to treating patients without fear of costly litigation around every corner.
What are the Challenges Associated with Implementing these New Strategies?
The cost of healthcare is rising at an alarming rate. In order to provide high-quality care, hospitals and other healthcare facilities must be able to invest in the latest technology and equipment. They also need to be able to attract and retain highly skilled staff.
Another challenge associated with implementing new quality strategies is time. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are under constant pressure to improve patient outcomes while also reducing costs. This can make it difficult to dedicate the necessary time and resources to quality improvement initiatives.
A third challenge related to quality improvement is training. Many healthcare professionals are not adequately trained in quality improvement methods or tools. As a result, they may be reluctant or unable to implement new quality strategies effectively.
How can we Overcome these Challenges?
- Re-define quality healthcare and develop a clear understanding of what it means to put people first over profits.
- Implement quality improvement initiatives at the organizational level.
- Educate providers and patients about quality healthcare and engage them in efforts to improve it.
- Increase transparency around quality metrics and outcomes.
- Make quality a priority in policymaking, funding, and decision-making processes.
How do we Implement these New Strategies so Medicare will Provide the Needed Insurance Coverage?
The first step is to improve communication and coordination between all levels of care. This includes primary care, specialty care, hospital care, home health care, and long-term care.
The second step is to focus on quality improvement initiatives. This includes establishing standardized protocols for care, increasing transparency around quality metrics and outcomes, and making quality a priority in policymaking.
The third step is to engage patients and providers in efforts to improve healthcare quality. This includes educating them about quality healthcare and involving them in decision-making processes.
The fourth step is to make quality a priority in Medicare insurance coverage. This includes covering preventive services, promoting evidence-based care, and paying for value instead of volume.
Lastly, we need to reach out to our legislatures and convince them these changes need to be made for the betterment of our country.
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers: We are here for you
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers are here for you. We provide expert insurance advice and service to our clients. We are committed to providing the highest level of integrity and service to our clients.
We work hard to ensure that our clients receive the best possible Medicare insurance coverage at the most competitive prices.
We are focused on providing our clients with the best customer service in an ever-changing industry. When you work with Medicare Advantage Consultants, you can be assured that we will always be there for you and answer any questions that may arise.
We value your business and want to ensure that you are satisfied not just today but in the future.