March 29,2001

Grassley Announces Hearing on Medicare and Managed Care

Hearing: “Medicare and Managed Care: Finding Successful Solutions”

Date/time: Tuesday, April 3, 2001, at 10 a.m.

Location: 215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Description: Congress introduced managed care as a Medicare option in the 1970s. In 1997,Congress created the Medicare+Choice program to control costs and increase healthcare options for older Americans. The program was designed to provide analternative to traditional Medicare that would offer desirable benefits that traditionalMedicare doesn’t cover, such as hearing aids, prescription drugs and lowerpremiums. Many older Americans who are enrolled in Medicare+Choice enjoyhaving more than one health care option and are pleased with the additional servicesthey receive. However, managed care’s participation in Medicare is limited and isgenerally concentrated in urban, high-population areas; beneficiaries in rural areashave fewer, if any, managed care options available to them. Congress has worked toimprove older Americans’ access to managed care, but more challenges remain. Sen.

Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, will convene a hearing todiscuss the state of Medicare+Choice and ways to improve the program by taking acloser look at the program’s design, payment structure and regulatory requirements.

Witness List
Dr. Madeline T. Smith, Specialist in Social Legislation, Congressional Research Service,Washington, D.C.

Dr. Murray N. Ross, Executive Director, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, Washington,D.C.

Victor E. Turvey, Regional CEO, United Healthcare of the Midwest, Maryland Heights, Mo.

Kevin W. McCarthy, Health and Welfare Benefits Consultant, Towers Perrin, Pittsburgh, Penn.

Dr. Thomas C. Buchmueller, Associate Professor, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, Calif.

Dr. Len M. Nichols, Principal Research Associate, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.