October 7, 2021
Washington, DC – In a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, America’s Physician Groups (APG) announced its full support for the budget reconciliation proposal that expands Medicare coverage to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits. Adding Medicare coverage in these three areas is a major step toward addressing health inequities and improving the health of seniors.
Many Medicare beneficiaries live on fixed incomes and cannot afford routine dental, hearing, and vision care. Untreated oral, hearing, and vision problems often lead to larger, more costly health problems. Barriers to these healthcare services are most pronounced in underserved communities.
“Having good dental, vision, and hearing care is absolutely essential to overall preventive healthcare, so including coverage for them in Medicare is the sensible thing to do,” said Don Crane, APG President and CEO. “And expanding coverage moves us toward the goal of achieving greater health equity among underserved populations.”
APG underscores the importance of making appropriate adjustments to Medicare Advantage (MA) (Part C) benchmarks if dental, vision, and hearing benefits are included in traditional Medicare. Without adjustments, healthcare organizations that participate in MA programs could face additional costs and MA beneficiaries could face higher premiums.
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About America’s Physician Groups
America’s Physician Groups is a national association representing more than 335 physician groups with approximately 170,000 physicians providing care to nearly 90 million patients. APG’s tagline, ‘Taking Responsibility for America’s Health,’ represents our members’ vision to move from the antiquated, dysfunctional fee-for-service reimbursement system to a clinically integrated, value-based healthcare system where physician groups are accountable for the coordination, cost, and quality of patient care. Visit us at www.apg.org.
Contact: Greg Phillips, APG Director of Communications, 202-770-1901, firstname.lastname@example.org