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Providing Transportation Saves Medicare Advantage Plans Better And More Affordable Health Outcomes

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The shift toward value in the US healthcare system has resulted in the increasing emphasis on providing more value-based care. This has led to the emergence of population health management, which is a process that involves improving the health outcomes of individuals. It is designed to promote public health and prevent costly errors. For individuals who are 65 years old or above, healthcare plans should implement population health management strategies that promote the development of comprehensive care plans. These include the implementation of programs that are based on risk assessment and the monitoring of quality of life.

Almost half of all Medicare beneficiaries are currently enrolled in a health insurance plan called Medicare Advantage. As the number of older individuals continues to increase, the number of people who are able to enroll in these plans is expected to increase significantly. In 2023, the average Medicare recipient will have access to over 40 Medicare Advantage plans. In certain counties, they may be able to access over 75 plans. As the competition in the market intensifies, plans must offer a wide range of programs that can meet the varying needs of their members.

Besides providing comprehensive coverage, a Medicare Advantage plan should also offer a variety of supplemental benefits that can help improve the health of members. This can be done through the development of programs that are designed to meet the needs of different individuals. Although most Medicare Advantage plans provide various benefits, such as hearing, vision, and fitness, only 43% of them will offer a non-emergency medical transportation benefit in 2023. This type of program can help support various people who are in dire need for such transportation.

The National Council on Aging noted that over 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease, and many of these individuals are not able to make scheduled appointments due to lack of access to transportation. Getting sicker and more frequently missing out on health services can lead to poor health outcomes and costly consequences for both the individual and the healthcare provider. The lack of transportation can also affect the operations of healthcare providers and the cost of providing services. Making non-emergency medical transportation more widely available can help improve the quality of care for older adults.

The transportation needs of older adults are a key concern for many Medicare members. They often need help navigating the various services at a medical facility, as well as finding the right drop-off point. The elevated type of transportation service can help individuals maintain their independence while still getting the necessary services.

One in three individuals over the age of 65 visits at least five doctors annually. This highlights the importance of comprehensive care coordination, which is a core component of population health management. Medicare plans should encourage members to make scheduled appointments for preventative care to avoid costly readmissions and emergency care. Lack of transportation may be a cause preventing members from making their scheduled medical visits. As people age, they also rely more on transportation benefits.

Through population health management, Medicare Advantage plans have been able to reduce the number of hospitalizations and ER visits by their members. Through the use of electronic medical records (EMRs), health plan providers can monitor the activities of their transportation programs and identify potential savings. One of the most effective ways to improve the quality of care for older adults is by implementing transportation programs.