May 22,2015

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless (202)224-4515

Hatch, Wyden Launch Working Group to Seek Input and Explore Chronic Care Solutions

Chairman and Ranking Member Appoint Senators Isakson and Warner to Lead Bipartisan Effort

WASHINGTON – In a letter today sent to health care stakeholders, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced the formation of a bipartisan working group in an effort to begin exploring solutions that will improve outcomes for Medicare patients requiring chronic care. The Chairman and Ranking Member announced the initiative following a May 15th Finance hearing on the issue and have appointed committee members Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) to lead the effort, which will include seeking input from health care stakeholders.

“As the Finance Committee looks to develop solutions that improve health outcomes for Medicare patients with chronic conditions, we intend to proceed carefully. Stakeholder input is critical for the committee to work toward its goal of producing bipartisan legislation that can be introduced and marked up later this year. To aid the Finance Committee in bipartisan chronic care reform policy development, we request all interested public and private sector stakeholders submit their best ideas on ways to improve outcomes for Medicare patients with chronic conditions,” the senators wrote.

Submissions can be made at the Senate Finance Committee chronic care reform mailbox at  The deadline to respond is Monday, June 22, 2015.  All submissions will be considered part of the public record.

Specifically, the senators are seeking input regarding the following issue areas:

1.     Improvements to Medicare Advantage for patients living with multiple chronic conditions;

2.     Transformative policies that improve outcomes for patients living with chronic diseases either through modifications to the current Medicare Shared Savings ACO Program,   piloted alternate payment models (APMs) currently underway at CMS, or by proposing new APM structures;
3.     Reforms to Medicare’s current fee-for-service program that incentivize providers to coordinate care for patients living with chronic conditions;
4.     The effective use, coordination, and cost of prescription drugs;
5.     Ideas to effectively use or improve the use of telehealth and remote monitoring technology;
6.     Strategies to increase chronic care coordination in rural and frontier areas;
7.     Options for empowering Medicare patients to play a greater role in managing their health and meaningfully engaging with their health care providers; and
8.     Ways to more effectively utilize primary care providers and care coordination teams in order to meet the goal of maximizing health care outcomes for Medicare patients living with chronic conditions.

A signed copy of the letter can be found here.