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The Voice of Olga Walther
On Tuesday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule making changes to the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). In the proposed rule, CMS continues to use a flexible approach to the implementation of the legislation, marking the second year of the program another transition year. Comments on the proposed rule are due by August 21st, 2017.
For the first time, one in three people in Medicare are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA), according to a new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation. The new analysis, “Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update,” examines trends in the MA market, including cost sharing and premiums, market penetration, and market share of the top three MA firms by state.
In a newly released report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) examine data on disenrollment by health status and the reasons beneficiaries disenroll to strengthen oversight of the Medicare Advantage program. The Department of Health & Human Services concurred with GAO’s recommendation.
On May 23, 2017, the White House released President Trump’s budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Simultaneously, the Department of Health & Human Services released their budget in brief, explaining the agency’s budget proposals.
While Affordable Care Act (ACA) talks have hit a stalemate in the Senate, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made good on its promise to make changes to the regulation in an attempt to both ease the regulatory burden and potentially increase enrollment in 2018. CMS made two enrollment changes for the small business Exchange and the individual Exchange. While the impact on consumers is not yet clear, the two moves will dynamically change the relationship between brokers, agents, and consumers and may actually be an efficient step by the new administration to boost coverage sign ups in 2018.
With all the focus on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal this year, it would seem as if Medicare Advantage (MA) policymaking was left in the dust. As we noted last week, for example, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) is poised to be triggered this year and, without further Congressional action, will set up huge payment implications for MA and Part D plans.
At the beginning of this week, Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement as to how to fund the government until September. Despite largely circumventing the demands of the White House, President Trump is expected to sign the bill.