Press Release

RELEASE: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Paying for Quality in Health Care

New national data shows bipartisan support for Medicare Advantage quality bonus payments

Washington (October 2, 2018) – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) today released new national survey results that find overwhelming bipartisan support for incentivizing quality care in the Medicare Advantage program. More than 70 percent of Americans agreed that Medicare health plans should receive financial incentives to bring the best possible care to seniors, according to the survey. The sentiment spans party lines, with more than 70 percent of both Democrats and Republicans supporting quality bonus payments in the Medicare Advantage program.

See and download infographic of survey results here

“Americans expect and deserve high quality health care, making full payment of quality bonus payments in Medicare Advantage a no-brainer,” said ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly. “Rewarding the highest performing health plans ensures continued improvement in care quality and access to high quality coverage and care for millions of seniors nationwide.”

The Medicare Advantage program offers bonus payments to health plans that score at the top of the quality charts. By law, every dollar of quality bonus payments must be returned as benefits to enrollees. However, due to a glitch in how the bonus is calculated, many of the best Medicare plans are receiving only a fraction, or in some cases, no bonus payments at all. In 2018, more than 11 million people in Medicare Advantage will miss benefits due to this payment flaw. Three in four Americans polled in the survey say it is important that Congress reward quality and fix the Medicare Advantage payment issue.

“Sadly, Medicare beneficiaries are missing out on more than $820 million in additional benefits or reduced premiums,” said Connolly. “This national survey shows it’s smart policy and smart politics to pay the full quality bonuses.”

If corrected, ACHP member plans would be able to offer additional or enhanced benefits such as dental, hearing and vision services. One ACHP member, Security Health Plan, part of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, could reduce its monthly Medicare Advantage premium by $25 per month. In Pennsylvania, UPMC Health System would have an additional $19.4 million this year to help improve care for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

ACHP supports a recently introduced Senate bill that would remedy the payment glitch and help ensure Medicare Advantage enrollees receive the highest quality coverage.

About ACHP
The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. ACHP’s member health plans provide coverage and care for more than 21 million Americans across 32 states and the District of Columbia. These organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care, including primary care redesign, payment reform, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology. To learn more, go to www.achp.org and follow ACHP on Twitter @_ACHP.

Methodology
The poll was conducted from August 20-22, 2018, among a national sample of 2201 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.