Ten Things to Know About Health Reform: Pointing the Way to Better Care

New Fact Sheet Describes How Reform Will Improve Care for Older Adults, Family Caregivers

WASHINGTON, DC — April 21, 2010 — Health reform is law and million of families across the nation are wondering how it will help them and their loved ones. Older adults with multiple chronic conditions, the heaviest users of our health care system, and their family caregivers will benefit in significant ways as the new law is implemented, according to the Campaign for Better Care , which has created a new fact sheet to bring much-needed clarity to the public.

Ten Things to Know About Health Reform: Pointing the Way to Better Care describes key elements of the new law that would, among other things:

  • Test new payment approaches that will encourage better coordination of care;
  • Fund hospitals and community-based groups to provide transitional care services to high-risk Medicare beneficiaries to help make these transitions smoother and safer;
  • Increase Medicare and Medicaid payment rates to primary care providers;
  • Provide support for medication management services by local health providers to reduce dangerous medication interactions and medical errors;
  • Increase federal Medicaid payments for states that provide home- and community-based services to people who might otherwise need to be in nursing homes;
  • Help ensure that the nation has an adequate and appropriately trained workforce — including primary care clinicians and direct care workers — to meet the complex health needs of older patients;
  • Promote the use of patient experience measures and shared decision-making tools which can improve health care quality and reduce disparities in care; and
  • Require that Medicare cover the full costs of a range of preventive services.

"We all deserve comprehensive, coordinated health care, and it’s not right that the people who are the sickest and most vulnerable are not getting the health care they need. The new health reform law contains numerous building blocks to change that," said Debra Ness, President of the National Partnership for Women & Families. "Chief among them is that it promotes innovative new ways to deliver health care that will promote better coordinated care and better communication and coordination among health care providers, patients and family caregivers."


The Campaign for Better Care is working to protect vulnerable older patients with multiple health problems and ensure they can access well-coordinated, quality health care. The Campaign for Better Care is led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, Community Catalyst, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the National Health Law Program — and funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies.