February 16,2007

Baucus Looks At Proposed Medicare Advantage Rates

Senator aims to ensure Medicare dollars are successfully serving America’s seniors

Washington, DC – Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said today that he will
look closely at proposed increases and total spending on the Medicare Advantage program to see if that program spends America’s health care dollars as wisely as possible. This announcement comes after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed 2008 inflation-related increase in rates for Medicare Advantage plans late this afternoon. Baucus said that while a yearly increase is reasonable, it’s time to revisit overall spending on the Medicare Advantage program.

“This is an opportunity for us to look closely at the Medicare Advantage program to see if
funneling dollars into private plans gets us the most bang for our health care buck,”
Baucus said. “Every Medicare dollar we spend needs to do the most possible good, and seniors
with the most dire medical problems must get the care they need. A yearly increase in rates
is fine, but I’m going to look closely to see whether the money we’re spending on Medicare
Advantage is really being put to its best use.”

According to CMS, the proposed inflation-related rate increase for the Medicare Advantage
program will be 4.1 percent. Senator Baucus will also take a look at how CMS implements the
Deficit Reduction Act requirement to adjust differences in the reporting of diagnoses between
Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service. The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over
the Medicare program.

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