Senators ask CMS to keep disease-mgmt program

Last month, CMS decided to discontinue its planned three-year Medicare Health Support program--aimed at managing chronic diseases more effectively--arguing that initial results hadn't met quality, cost and beneficiary-satisfaction goals. But four U.S. Senators involved in health policy, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and John Kerry (D-MA) are calling on CMS to change its mind, arguing that CMS hasn't gathered enough data yet to make sure a decision. Right now, Aetna Health Management, Green Ribbon Health, Health Dialog Services Corp., Healthways and XLHealth provide advice, education, med management and personal services for 150,000 Medicare patients with heart disease or diabetes. Healthways, for its part, is contending that the program would meet or even exceed the program's goals despite some initial problems with patient selection.

To learn more about the debate over this program:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece

Related Articles:
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Firms offer mobile disease management platform. Report
Humana debuts national complex care management program. Report
SPOTLIGHT: Chronic disease becomes major political issue. Report

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