House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) delivered the following opening statement at a hearing entitled "The Current Status of and Quality in the Medicare Advantage Program."
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Welcome to the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing on the Current Status of and Quality in the Medicare Advantage Program.
"It is my pleasure to welcome our four witnesses today as we continue our discussion on improvements to the Medicare program and turn our focus to the Medicare Advantage program, where nearly 40 percent of seniors with Parts A and B coverage are choosing to enroll.
"The Medicare Trustees continue to project more seniors will choose a Medicare Advantage plan in the coming years. These statistics highlight the popularity of the Medicare Advantage program, demonstrating that seniors prefer the choice the program continues to provide. By expanding competition in the Medicare program, Medicare Advantage has proven that choice and competition works in healthcare to keep costs low for seniors and to improve care.
"Today, we will hear from our panel of witnesses on what Medicare Advantage plans are doing well and how the government can get out of the way to spur more plan competition and drive better health outcomes in our Medicare population. Today's hearing will also give us an opportunity to examine the existing quality measurement system in the Medicare Advantage program. Finally, we will learn about consumer interactions with Medicare Plan Finder and how this beneficiary tool may be improved to keep up with our technology savvy seniors.
"As the Medicare Advantage program grows in size, we must ensure it is able to grow with technological advances and evolving healthcare delivery techniques. The Medicare Advantage program has come a long way and can be used as a testing ground for many healthcare innovations that are unavailable in traditional Medicare. How we incentivize innovation that leads to better care quality, access and health outcomes is vital. While the Star Ratings system has the ability to help drive these changes, effective measurement is the first step. I appreciate the solution-based testimonies of the witnesses here today and this Subcommittee looks forward to fleshing out the details of their proposals throughout this hearing."