SCAN Health Plan Chief Medical Officer Testifies Before Congress
LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 24, 2021--
Romilla Batra, M.D., chief medical officer of SCAN Health Plan, testified today before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health about the importance of enabling Medicare Advantage plans to offer flexible benefits that address social determinants of health (SDOH).
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Romilla Batra, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer, SCAN Health Plan (Photo: Business Wire)
“We recommend that Congress include SDOH, such as food insecurity, to the criteria for supplemental benefits more broadly than only for specific chronic conditions. This would help to mitigate some social inequities and allow health plans to expand services to more members in need,” said Dr. Batra, a primary care physician.
Her testimony was heard by the House committee during a hearing entitled, “Empowered by Data: Legislation to Advance Equity and Public Health.”
In her remarks before the committee, Dr. Batra noted that SDOH have been found to account for 70% of the drivers affecting a person’s overall health status. “Not surprisingly, individuals with unmet SDOH needs generally have higher medical utilization and poorer health outcomes,” she said.
Dr. Batra also detailed SCAN Health Plan’s approach to addressing its members’ needs with regard to SDOH, calling it “systematic, person-centered, and grounded in serving diverse populations in an equitable manner.”
Last, Dr. Batra stressed that the supplemental benefits SCAN offers its members, which include hearing aids, eye exams and glasses, dental care, fitness, meals, transportation, in-home support, bathroom safety, telemonitoring, and caregiver support all address SDOH and greatly improve members’ quality of life. With this in mind, she urged the committee to enable Medicare Advantage plans to expand their ability to offer such benefits in order to more fully address SDOH.
Dr. Batra also urged the committee’s members to support, H.R. 2166,Ensuring Parity in MA/PACE for Audio Only-Telehealth Act. This bill would create parity between the audio/video platforms for risk adjustment purposes, which is vital for older adults who do not have broadband service.
Dr. Batra’s full testimony can be found on the committee’s website.
About SCAN Health Plan
SCAN Health Plan is one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans, serving more than 220,000 members in California. Since its founding in 1977, SCAN has been a mission-driven organization dedicated to keeping seniors healthy and independent. Independence at Home, a SCAN community service, provides vitally needed services and support to seniors and their caregivers regardless of plan membership. SCAN also offers education programs, community funding, volunteer opportunities and other community services throughout our California service area. To learn more, visit scanhealthplan.com or follow us on Twitter @scanhealthplan.
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CONTACT: Seffrah Orlando
KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA
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SOURCE: SCAN Health Plan
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PUB: 06/24/2021 03:00 PM/DISC: 06/24/2021 03:02 PM