Topic: Medicaid

Medicaid Final Rule Aligns the Program with MA and Exchange Regulations

Olga Walther

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final Medicaid “mega-rule,” a huge regulation that makes changes to every part of the current managed care rules. Although the final rule makes some tweaks based on the comments received from the industry, it largely adopts the proposals released last May. The new changes will be phased in over the course of three years, with some provisions going into effect starting July 1, 2017.

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Takeaways from the Gorman Health Group 2016 Client Forum

John Gorman

The Gorman Health Group 2016 Forum concluded last week with over 200 of our closest clients and partners. There was great news and rough news, so here are a few takeaways: Read more

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Issues to Watch in Government Health Programs in the Next Few Months

Olga Walther

Last week was an exciting time for the policy world with the release of the Final Medicare Advantage (MA) Payment Rate and Call Letter. Here are some other notable stories we are watching develop in the next few weeks:

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MA Plans’ Must-Fix: the Member Experience

John Gorman

Now more than ever, it’s clear to us health plans and their stakeholders will thrive or die based on the member experience they provide. The member experience, especially with drug benefits, now represents more than half of a health plan’s Star Rating in Medicare Advantage (MA), with millions in bonuses and bid rebates hanging in the balance.  It also drives member retention and thereby acquisition expense (now averaging $1,200 per/member, or more than an average month’s premium), so how members are treated now determines both health plan revenues and costs. Read more

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CMS Releases New Medicaid Rule, OMB in Final Review

Sunmi Janicek

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the new Medicaid rule ‒ a 653-page proposal requiring Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) to enhance their network adequacy, establish quality ratings, set a medical loss ratio (MLR) threshold of 85%, and develop a robust managed long-term care program. The new Medicaid rule has now been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. This means the new Medicaid rule could be published by mid- to late May. There are 39 states and the District of Columbia that currently outsource their Medicaid programs and about 46 million lives that will be affected by this new change.

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What to Watch: The Fiscal Year 2017 budget

Olga Walther

President Obama released the Fiscal Year 2017 budget last Tuesday, which contains many significant proposals to government healthcare programs. Although both the Senate and House’s budget committees already rejected hearings from the President’s budget chief and unsurprisingly declared the bill “dead on arrival,” the proposals do contain many bipartisan provisions with significant cost savings. One such proposal organizations should watch carefully, for example, is using competitive bidding in Medicare Advantage plans.

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Issues That Will Define Government Health Programs in 2016

John Gorman

The new year brings a slew of issues that will define government-sponsored health programs.  Here’s what we’re watching closely, not necessarily in this order. Opportunities have never been greater in Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, but execution risk is rising fast. If this was an easy business, we’d be out of business.

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