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A New Vision For Medicare: Breaking Down Barriers Between Medical Treatment And Personal Care

(Howard Gleckman, Forbes) Medicare needs to better serve a population of older adults who live longer and with more chronic conditions than they did in the 1960s. Medicare’s fee-for-service acute care model may have worked well in the days when treating heart attacks and strokes were a primary focus of health care. But in the past half-century, medical science has turned heart disease and even some cancers into chronic conditions. Unfortunately, these advances have also made it possible for more of us to live long enough to show symptoms of dementia. Roughly 90 percent of Medicare dollars are spent on seniors with chronic conditions.
Those profound changes require a model of care that fully integrates medical treatment with personal assistance and social supports. It breaks down the artificial barriers that prevent older adults from receiving the full suite of holistic care that can help improve their quality of life. And it helps them manage those often complex multiple chronic conditions.
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