More access to Medicare not a remedy for healthcare costs

A recent report released by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission points out that if we want to start saving money on healthcare, expanding Medicare access is not the solution, according to the Washington Post.

The report specifically points to Medicare's fee-for-service payment as an issue, saying that it "rewards more care--and more complex care--without regard to the quality or value of that care." This, the report adds, is "fiscally unsustainable."

Talk of changes to Medicare in terms of making physicians more accountable has been popular of late. Bonuses for quality and cost targets, as well as penalties for those who don't reach those targets, are at least a start to curbing some of the wasteful spending. Adoption of more biotech treatments imitating those already available--or follow-up biologics--was suggested as a money saver, as well.

But whether or not accountable care organizations save enough money to make a difference remains to be seen. According to the report, accountable care organizations have created "limited encouragement" at best.

For more on Medicare:
- read this Washington Post article