Medicare is a national government-sponsored health insurance program in the United States of America. On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law in Independence, Missouri. Medicare offers health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older. It also provides health insurance to younger people with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, and ALS. Medicare is the primary insurer for 54 million Americans. Medicare is a single-payer health care program, covering all eligible beneficiaries under a single, publicly financed insurance plan. Government spending on Medicare in 2013 was $583 billion, or 14 percent of the federal budget (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2014).
Hospitals, healthcare providers, and
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Quality health care for Medicare recipients became a focus for the President and consequently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), launched Quality Initiatives in 2001 to guarantee high-quality health care for all Americans through accountability and public disclosure of health care standards. The many different quality initiatives used involve all of the healthcare systems. Some initiatives focus on reporting quality measures and standards facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, and home health providers. Healthcare recipients can use the quality measures information that is available to help them make informed choices about their care. One of the agencies reporting quality results is the Center for Clinical Standards & Quality (CCSQ); this group is led by the CMS Chief Medical Officer. This team is a diverse group with backgrounds in many fields, including scientists, health care providers, Information Technology specialists and project managers. The focus of the group is to improve patient outcomes and experiences of healthcare. They are tasked with reducing the cost of healthcare of individuals and groups.
Medicare uses a Prospective Payment System (PPS) as the process to calculate reimbursement for care provided to Medicare patients covered by Part A. The payment Medicare authorizes is made based on a preset, fixed