Hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities that refuse or are not licensed to treat chronically ill patients should pay higher rates of health care costs, according to a federal advisory group that’s recommending changes in state law.
The recommendations, which were issued by the Federal Advisory Committee on Health Care Costs, are the first to go public since a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released in June found that Medicare and private insurers have been spending far too much on care for chronic illnesses.
The Medicare and other Medicare program for the elderly also spends far too little, the report found.
The report said there are more than 1.5 million people with chronic illness who are expected to reach their 70th birthday in 2023.
The report said they represent one-third of the U.S. population.
The group also recommended that states and counties that have higher-than-average rates of chronic illness pay for more care, such as physical examinations, laboratory tests and drug treatment.
The Medicare and Medicare program are also supposed to pay for care for patients with diabetes, cancer and other illnesses that affect the heart, kidneys and lungs.
The federal advisory panel recommended that the government start requiring health care providers to spend at least 20 percent of their Medicare and prescription drug payments on services for chronic conditions and provide incentives to hospitals and nursing home owners and managers to spend more on these services.
The groups recommendations include a reduction in the maximum Medicare payment for services, a reduction of the maximum rate for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, and a reduction for Medicare Advantage plans.
The groups recommendations also called for states to establish uniform payment levels for the various Medicare drug plans and allow Medicare to negotiate drug pricing.