The Medicare & Medicaid Services Centers or CMS provide Medicare information on service quality and healthcare costs. The new rules proposed by the CMS facilitate the selection of high quality and cost-effective healthcare services from doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.
Under the new rules, organizations with certain qualifications will be allowed access to patent-protected Medicare data to produce public reports on health services for clinics, physicians, and hospitals. These reports combine Medicare and Medigap Insurance claims data with private sector claims data to identify which healthcare providers offer the most cost-effective and high-quality services. This strategy is part of the Affordable Care Act, which aims to improve healthcare, make people proactive in their health, and reduce health care costs.
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According to the CMS administrator, Dr. Donald Berwick, MD, to make this information available to the public will enable them to make smart choices about their healthcare. He hopes that the performance reports will enable millions of consumers receive better quality and cost-effective healthcare. This will make the health system more transparent, promote healthy competition between insurance companies and service providers and lower premiums.
How will transparency change healthcare?
Over the years, employers and consumers have been frustrated by the limited availability of data for health claims. Many health plans use providers’ performance data solely on the basis of their own health plan claims, which may only account for a small portion of a provider’s overall performance. The transparency of healthcare demands can increase the understanding of consumers about the performance of physicians and other providers. Imagine you could choose your surgeon based on survival and recovery rates after his previous surgeries.
Transparency can be just as important when it comes to Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap Insurance. Are you aware that Medigap plans have been standardized by law to provide services that have been predefined? The same is not true for Advantage Plans, but you need to consider the benefits, such as: for example, which medicines are contained in the individual plans.
Can transparency help make the most of Medicare?
To be sure that you have the coverage you need, you must demystify the benefits of Medicare and compare them with your regular medical and hospital bills. Then look for one of several Medicare Advantage plans or Medigap plans that can claim any remaining medical expenses. Once you have decided what extra coverage you need and which plan will best fill the gaps in Medicare, you need to figure out how to compare prices for that plan.
There is still little transparency when it comes to how Medicare supplement plans are priced. Research has revealed that unfortunately some people spend far more than others for exactly the same benefits. To compare prices, check out the prices of several insurance companies, or use an online website to compare the rates of different insurers by executing offers on multiple plans with a single quote request. This is a free service and the offers are correct. It’s a quick way to narrow down the selection of different plans.
The more you learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medigap Insurance, the greater the chance that you’ll get coverage that suits your situation at a low price.