Preparing for First Plan Preview of 2018 Star Ratings Data

While many of us have been enjoying the long days of summer and catching our breath after the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) season, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been hard at work preparing for the annual ritual of releasing the latest Star Ratings and program changes. Here’s an idea of what we can expect over the next few months:

Early August: The first preview period for the 2018 Star Ratings data will begin. CMS allows plans a very short window to validate measure-level data for accuracy. CMS will also release an initial draft of the technical notes. Plans should:

  • Rapidly validate measure-level data to ensure there are no errors or inaccuracies in the data.
  • Review any new, removed, or modified measures to determine the nature and extent of impact.
  • Provide feedback to CMS regarding any errors and/or significant program changes.
  • Begin assessing impact of measure-level changes on 2017 and 2018 Star Ratings work plans. 

Early September: The second plan preview period will begin, giving plans the opportunity to review their overall Star Rating. CMS will also release an updated version of the technical notes. Plans should:

  • Recalculate and validate the accuracy of the overall rating.
  • Assess the need for any strategic changes needed during 2017 or 2018 to improve 2019-2020 Star Ratings.
  • Evaluate and update work plans, business processes, etc., and implement any changes necessary to improve performance on underperforming measures.
  • Prepare for public release of Star Ratings data in early October. 

Early October: CMS will release all Star Ratings to the public. Plans should:

  • Evaluate and understand competitors’ performance.
  • Evaluate and understand local and national performance trends which may influence 2018 strategic planning, tactical activities, and/or budget requirements.



Our experts will be closely monitoring the 2018 program changes and Star Ratings data and will keep you informed as program changes occur. Need assistance making sure your 4th quarter action plan accomplishes your 2019 Star Ratings goals? We can help. For questions or inquiries about how Gorman Health Group can support your Star Ratings program, please contact me directly at



Want to stay up to date on policy and regulation changes? The Insider is GHG’s exclusive intelligence briefing, providing in-depth analysis and expert summaries of the most critical legislative and political activities impacting and shaping your organization. Read our full press release >>

Stay connected to industry news and gain perspective on how to navigate the latest issues through GHG’s weekly newsletter. Subscribe >>

Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith

Melissa Smith is Senior Vice President of Stars & Strategy at Gorman Health Group, LLC (GHG). Melissa’s team helps clients improve performance within quality ratings systems such as Star Ratings, improve health outcomes and the member experience, evaluate market dynamics and opportunities, optimize distribution channels, and supports our clients’ strategic planning needs.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.