Topic: Part D

CMS Announces Expansion of the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model

Jean LeMasurier

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to expand the Medicare Advantage (MA) Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model to more states and more conditions in 2018 without the experience of the first year’s launch, which begins in January 2017. The schedule underlines the Administration’s goal of rapidly expanding the use of innovative payment and delivery models that emphasize quality and good outcomes rather than volume of services. VBID models have been used in the private sector to better manage the costs and care of persons with high healthcare needs and the Medicare population, which has the largest number of persons with chronic care conditions, and offers the potential to see even better results for more people.

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Lessons on the Audit Front

Caron Wingerchuk

The regulatory scrutiny continues. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2016 Compliance and Program Audits are in full swing, and it is readily apparent plan sponsors must be “audit ready.” CMS’ intent to hold plan sponsors accountable to comply with Medicare standards and ensuring beneficiary protection is evident. Plan sponsors must be ready to take the test.

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Meeting CMS Halfway: The 2016 Audit and Enforcement Conference

Regan Pennypacker

On June 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held their third annual Medicare Advantage & Prescription Drug Audit and Enforcement Conference and Webcast. At the heart of this conference is the CMS Program Audit. Agency experts as well as Sponsor participants presented to an in-person and webcast audience on expectations, process enhancements, upcoming developments, and more.

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Why Is Conducting a Part D Operational Assessment so Important?

Debra Devereaux

Medicare Part D is a complex program that is continually in motion. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in an attempt to provide clarity to stakeholders, actively publishes updated guidance to sponsors to assist in process improvement and encourage optimal beneficiary outcomes and experience. Keeping up with Health Plan Management System (HPMS) memos, best practices, yearly call letters, and webinar information is challenging.  Dynamic and ever-changing guidelines inevitably bring uncertainty and risk. Understanding these guidelines and operationalizing a compliant program is key to a successful program and financial sustainability.

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Health Plans Need to Start Talking About Disparities in Care

John Gorman

On the heels of a recent groundbreaking RAND report on racial disparities in Medicare Advantage (MA), the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a regulation that requires serious attention in health plans participating in MA, Part D, Medicaid, and ObamaCare. It’s a game-changer in advancing health equity and reducing disparities.

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Medicare Marketing Guidelines Summary of Changes – Have They Left You Scratching Your Head?

Carrie Barker-Settles

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The Formulary Season

Debra Devereaux

It’s the formulary season, and you should be in the home stretch for your Health Plan Management System (HPMS) submission. What’s on the formulary and what changes were made to the formulary are among the top reasons why members either enroll in or disenroll from a health plan. Manufacturer price increases over the past two years and the number of high-cost specialty drugs released to market make formulary decisions and utilization increasingly difficult and significant to the health plan’s bottom line. With an average generic medication utilization rate of 80-85%, there is limited movement to improve. Some thoughts to consider:

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