Care management should be made more widely available.
Congress and the administration should expand care management to address both the health and social needs of patients.
The healthcare and social services systems in the U.S. are complex and not easy to navigate. Patients and families may not be aware of their eligibility for programs that provide financial assistance or services that are essential to staying in care, receiving social support, and maintaining health and wellness. Having professionals available to address the medical, physical, functional, emotional, financial, psychosocial, behavioral, and spiritual needs of individuals is critically important.
Comprehensive care management should be more widely available to those eligible for Medicare. Eighty percent of adults 65 and older have at least one condition, while 68 percent have two or more. Care management can help Medicare beneficiaries navigate the healthcare system, coordinate care between multiple providers, identify social needs, and assist with enrollment in additional benefits. Value-based payment models, in addition to coordinating care, should incentivize screening patients for social needs and connecting them with needed services and education.