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Study Cites Medicare Advantage Plans Outperform Medicare Fee-For-Service Plans
Date:9/15/2009

Lower Rates of Avoidable Hospitalizations Seen as Key to Ensuring Quality and Controlling Costs in Health Care Reform

Albany, NY (Vocus) September 15, 2009 -- A recent study released by John Hopkins University and commissioned by the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) found that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans score better than traditional Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) plans in key quality criteria. As an ACHP member plan, CDPHP Medicare Choices exemplifies this recent finding with significantly lower rates of avoidable hospital readmissions, preventable admissions, and emergency department visits than traditional Medicare. Based on 2007 data, the analysis showed that CDPHP Medicare Choices' hospital readmission rate (13.87 percent) was nearly 26 percent lower than traditional Medicare's national average (18.6 percent). Hospital readmissions cost Medicare $17.4 billion in 2004.

The report underscores the assertion that it is possible to improve quality and lower costs in the Medicare program if the delivery system is structured differently. Community-based MA plans like CDPHP are able to keep more of their Medicare members out of the hospital and avoid unnecessary costs because they invest in delivering the kind of coordinated, patient-centered medical care that traditional FFS Medicare-- in its current state-- cannot consistently provide.

"CDPHP Medicare Choices' high degree of coordination and integration of care can serve as a bl
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