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Topic: Health Insurance Exchanges
After six weeks of intensely secret negotiations, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA) is out, and it’s much worse than the House’s AHCA. The story remains the same: worsening benefit cuts for the poor to provide a tax cut for the rich. After Trump called it “mean,” and literally every healthcare organization has rallied against it, the hoped-for moderating influence of the august upper body of the U.S. Congress is gone. TrumpCare is still mean.
By now I’m sure you’ve seen the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessment of TrumpCare/the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its topline findings: 23 million would lose coverage, it cuts $1.1 TRILLION in coverage assistance to low-income Americans, it would increase premiums for those age 50-64 by more than 850%, all while providing a massive tax cut to the wealthy and various healthcare industries like device manufacturers.
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.
While headlines rage in DC about Trump’s leaks to Russian spies visiting the White House last week, the Senate’s sausage factory grinds away on TrumpCare. You’ll recall following House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Senate essentially declared it DOA in the upper chamber and started over. Health plans are in the middle of bid development for the ObamaCare Marketplace and for Medicare Advantage and Part D, so timing and details matter.
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the 2016 Health and Human Services Operated Risk Adjustment Data Validation (HHS-RADV) would be conducted as a pilot year in the same aspect as the 2015 HHS-RADV. This announcement came two days after the final risk adjustment data submissions were due to be submitted to the EDGE server for 2016 dates of service.
I sure hope Republicans enjoyed their victory lap for getting the American Health Care Act (AHCA) through the House by the thinnest margin, because there are two huge icebergs dead ahead: the backlash, and the Senate.
The Gorman Health Group 2017 Forum concluded last week in New Orleans with over 200 of our closest clients and partners. As we enter our 21st year, we returned to where it all began for us, with a little startup called Peoples Health, our first and closest client who now dominates southern Louisiana. The Forum ended the day JazzFest 2017 began, so many of us stayed to enjoy the festival and the best of New Orleans heritage and culture.