The U.S. Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, to improve health outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries living with chronic conditions. 

“There are a number of impressive innovations in the public and private sector to deliver better care to patients with multiple chronic conditions,” said Warner. “This Chronic Care Working Group deliberately worked with patients, advocacy groups, innovators, and other health care stakeholders to put together a set of bipartisan, cost-effective, and evidence-based policies that will better facilitate the delivery of high-quality and affordable care for our Medicare population. This bill takes the necessary steps to modernize Medicare to better meet the needs of today’s seniors and I am encouraged to see it move forward.”

The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act would:

  • Permanently reauthorize and strengthen Medicare Advantage Special Needs plans to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with chronic conditions or other significant health needs have continued access to quality care that is tailored to their personal needs;
  • Expand telehealth services offered through different providers of care that will benefit seniors in rural areas and increase access to primary care services and telestroke care; and
  • Extend the proven “independence at home” model that allows seniors to receive care from primary care teams. This provision aims to decrease hospital readmissions and to allow seniors with multiple chronic conditions to receive care in their own home.

Announced at a May 2015 hearing on chronic care, the Finance Committee formed the bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group led by Warner and Isakson to develop policy ideas to address Medicare spending on treating multiple chronic illnesses.

The CHRONIC Care Act was introduced in the last Congress and reintroduced earlier this year by Sen. Warner and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), along with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR). In May, the bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Finance Committee. 

A section-by-section summary of the CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 can be found here. A one-page summary of the CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 can be found here. The legislative text of the CHRONIC Care Act of 2017 can be found here.

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