Issues and Future Directions for Medicare

May 15, 2015

Per capita spending growth in Medicare has slowed over the last few years, although economists disagree about whether that trend will continue. Meanwhile, the number of Medicare beneficiaries continues to increase. Medicare has made systematic changes over the course of its first 50 years, addressing everything from benefits and eligibility to quality of care measurement and provider payment.

This session explored trends in both delivery and payment innovations within Medicare, including the movement away from traditional fee-for-service Medicare toward alternative payment models that promote high-quality, high-value care, as well as identify key issues that Congress is likely to face over the next several years.

The briefing also addressed the following questions: What is the financial status of Medicare – both in the short and long term? What is driving Medicare costs? How do changes in the way that care is delivered and paid for under Medicare impact the rest of the health care system? Which delivery models have the greatest impact on improving beneficiary health outcomes? What innovative steps is Medicare taking to improve quality and lower costs? What steps can Congress take to ensure financial sustainability of Medicare?

Karen Davis, director, Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Health Care, Johns Hopkins University, discussed accomplishments in Medicare and what the future holds for the program over the next 50 years in terms of access, reducing financial burdens, and quality.

Richard Gilfillan, president and chief executive officer, Trinity Health, and former director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), discussed his experience working with payers and providers to develop innovative models and implementing payment changes at the private sector level.

Samuel Nussbaum, executive vice president, clinical health policy and chief medical officer, Anthem, Inc., spoke about the intersection of Medicare and private sector innovations. Specifically, he will address how the private sector takes market signals from Medicare and how Medicare learns from the private sector.

Ed Howard of the Alliance and Stuart Guterman of Commonwealth co-moderated the panel discussion.

Follow the briefing on Twitter: #MedicareAt50

Contact: Beeta Rasouli (202)789-2300

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Commonwealth Fund.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Karen Davis Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Rick Gilfillan Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Stu Guterman Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Sam Nussbaum Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources