The Voice of Olga Walther

Olga Walther

About Olga Walther

Olga Walther is Senior Legislative & Policy Advisor at Gorman Health Group (GHG). In this role, Olga is responsible for managing Medicare, Medicaid and healthcare reform policy issues in support of the day-to-day policy and legislative analysis and product development. Read more

Seven Major Takeaways from the Proposed 2018 MACRA Regulation

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.

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One in Three People in Medicare Now Enrolled in Medicare Advantage

Olga Walther

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.

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GAO Recommends Use of Disenrollment Data to Strengthen Oversight in MA Program

Olga Walther

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.

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President Trump’s FY 2018 Budget Provides Framework for Government Health Program Funding Battles

Olga Walther

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.

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CMS Announces Two New Enrollment Changes in ACA Exchanges

Olga Walther

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.

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Industry Responds to CMS Request for Information

Olga Walther

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.

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New Spending Bill Implies Major Consequences for Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans

Olga Walther

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.

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