HIRP Research Brief

No. 13

Chronic Care Improvement in FFS Medicare: Cosmetic or Transforming?
May 2004


Sandra M. Foote, ScM


As part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, Congress mandated development of “Voluntary Chronic Care Improvement Programs under Traditional Fee-For-Service.” These programs represent an ambitious new federal attempt to reduce quality failings under the Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) plan cost-effectively and on alarge scale. CCI programs cannot be expected to rescue Medicare from current cost pressures or from the perverse incentives inherent in FFS provider reimbursement. These programs may, however, reduce health risks, yield savings, and foster progress toward system integration on behalf of some major subgroups of chronically ill beneficiaries who need added support to manage their health effectively.

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