The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act was passed in 2018.

This federal law changed policy to better integrate care that is centered around people’s goals and wishes.

A Path to Better Care

We are dedicated to efforts that put the federal CHRONIC Care Act into motion and practice. The law has the power to vastly improve care for people with Medicare, and those with both Medicare and Medicaid.

3 Major Components

1. It encourages flexibility to better serve people with complex health and social needs.

The law gives Medicare Advantage plans greater flexibility to cover non-medical benefits.

What does this mean for older adults? Health plans can now pay for some non-medical services, like grab bars in bathrooms or wheelchair ramps in homes to support independent living. Health plans can also offer options for people with limited transportation to talk to a clinician by computer or phone.   

2. It protects programs that serve people with complex health and social needs.

The law ensures the Medicare Advantage special needs plans (SNPs) are a permanent part of Medicare. It expands opportunities for doctors to serve individuals in their homes, which helps reduce hospital stays.

What does this mean for people with chronic health conditions? For people with complex needs as well as those living in nursing homes, it means that health plans can better serve them and target support based on their individual needs. That promotes a ‘person-centered,’ holistic care approach.


3. It embraces coordination as a key tenant of plans that serve people with complex health and social needs.

The law requires that SNPs incorporate the benefits available through Medicare and Medicaid into their care management plans, so eligible people understand all that’s available to them.

What does this mean for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid? It means understanding their options will be easier, so they can choose what’s best for them and what meets their personal goals.

Recent Publications
more publications
On May 14, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom released the May Revision of the 2021-22 proposed budget. The revision includes a $75.7 billion surplus with investments in economic recovery related to COVID-19 and resources to implement the Master Plan for Aging.
Today, health plans have flexible benefit tools in the Medicare Advantage program. With data analysis by Anne Tumlinson Innovations, this slide deck discusses how health plans can deploy these tools and adopt innovations to serve a rapidly growing group of members age 75 and older.
For most Americans, higher health care spending has not translated into improved quality, particularly for those with complex medical or social needs. In this Perspectives, Dr. Chernof discusses the impact of the CHRONIC Care Act as a path to better care for older adults.
The CHRONIC Care Act was passed and signed on February 9, 2018. This policy brief provides a summary of key components of the law.