Why this Medicare Advantage CEO wants a Medicare 'reboot'

"Misplaced nostalgia" for traditional Medicare will not solve the program's problems, SCAN Health Group CEO Sachin Jain, MD, wrote in Forbes on June 10. 

Medicare, established in 1965, is showing its age, Dr. Jain wrote. The program can cost older adults up to $1,000 a month in premiums, does not prevent chronic disease and does not cover services such as dental, vision and hearing. 

Rather than look back to the early days of the traditional Medicare system, the next presidential administration should target a "major reboot" of the program, he said, adding that the fee-for-service system should be replaced with value-based incentives. 

Medicare Advantage also needs an overhaul, Dr. Jain wrote. He encouraged the next administration to curb prior authorization and utilization management to make services more accessible to users. 

"We have seen where decades of incrementalism have gotten us: a Medicare program that, all told, is too expensive for beneficiaries (and society) and poorly suited to meet the needs of today's older adults," Dr. Jain said. "Now is the time for us to reimagine the Medicare program and rally around an approach that more fully and consistently meets the demands of this group of people, who deserve more than we are giving them." 

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