The Secretary shall provide for the phased-in development, testing, evaluation, and implementation of chronic care improvement programs in accordance with this section. Each such program shall be designed to improve clinical quality and beneficiary satisfaction and achieve spending targets with respect to expenditures under this subchapter for targeted beneficiaries with one or more threshold conditions.
The term “chronic care improvement organization” means an entity that has entered into an agreement under subsection (b) or (c) to provide, directly or through contracts with subcontractors, a chronic care improvement program under this section. Such an entity may be a disease management organization, health insurer, integrated delivery system, physician group practice, a consortium of such entities, or any other legal entity that the Secretary determines appropriate to carry out a chronic care improvement program under this section.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall enter into agreements consistent with subsection (f) with chronic care improvement organizations for the development, testing, and evaluation of chronic care improvement programs using randomized controlled trials. The first such agreement shall be entered into not later than 12 months after December 8, 2003.
The Secretary shall enter into agreements under this subsection in a manner so that chronic care improvement programs offered under this section are offered in geographic areas that, in the aggregate, consist of areas in which at least 10 percent of the aggregate number of medicare beneficiaries reside.
In selecting geographic areas in which agreements are entered into under this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure that each chronic care improvement program is conducted in a geographic area in which at least 10,000 targeted beneficiaries reside among other individuals entitled to benefits under part A, enrolled under part B, or both to serve as a control population.
With respect to chronic care improvement programs conducted under subsection (b), if the Secretary finds that the results of the independent evaluation conducted under subsection (b)(6) indicate that the conditions specified in paragraph (2) have been met by a program (or components of such program), the Secretary shall enter into agreements consistent with subsection (f) to expand the implementation of the program (or components) to additional geographic areas not covered under the program as conducted under subsection (b), which may include the implementation of the program on a national basis. Such expansion shall begin not earlier than 2 years after the program is implemented under subsection (b) and not later than 6 months after the date of completion of such program.
Each agreement under this section with a chronic care improvement organization shall specify performance standards for each of the factors specified in subsection (c)(2), including clinical quality and spending targets under this subchapter, against which the performance of the chronic care improvement organization under the agreement is measured.
Under this section, the Secretary shall ensure that the aggregate sum of medicare program benefit expenditures for beneficiaries participating in chronic care improvement programs and funds paid to chronic care improvement organizations under this section, shall not exceed the medicare program benefit expenditures that the Secretary estimates would have been made for such targeted beneficiaries in the absence of such programs.