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Topic: Provider Relations
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its Round Two online provider directory review, and the results were dismal. Plans reviewed showed an overall inaccuracy average higher than Year One plans. We can try to marginalize the results and say the average inaccuracy found by location was 48%. Nevertheless, the fact remains that nearly half of all directory locations reviewed were inaccurate. Breaking it down further, the inaccuracies ranged from 11% to 97.82%. We are living in an age of tech-savvy consumerism. If our GPS or Google results proved incorrect half of the time, we would not be satisfied. If results proved correct less than 3% of the time, we would be outraged.
On February 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2019 Advance Rate Notice (Part II) and Draft Call Letter. CMS estimates an expected increase of 1.84% to payments in 2019. CMS says its estimates do not reflect underlying coding trend, which it expects to increase risk scores by 3.1% in 2019.
As anticipated, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’) move to network adequacy reviews on a three-year cycle, unless there is a triggering event that would reset the timing of a Medicare Advantage Organization’s triennial review.
As 2018 and Year 2 of the chaotic Trump Administration kick off, trying to predict what will happen in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act is as challenging as ever. It’s a midterm election year with terrible headwinds for the GOP, so the legislative calendar is abbreviated, and partisan rancor will peak. That makes it less likely Republicans will get to do much damage but also more likely they will try to serve up red meat for their base, like a return to “repeal and replace.” Congressional leaders, fresh off their billionaire bailout tax bill, are already talking about taking up “reform” (aka cuts) of Medicare and Medicaid and other social welfare programs. The only thing that is certain is 2018 will be another battleground year for government health programs.
The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) recently approved a long standing proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to change their method of network adequacy review. The proposal has been in the works for quite some time now, and is of no surprise given that a previous review by CMS found forty-five percent of Medicare Advantage (MA) provider directories are not accurate.
Many of you and your teams are in the frantic, end-of-year trenches renegotiating current provider agreements or working on contracting new providers for a service area expansion, and it is easy to lose sight of all the changes swirling around the provider network arena. As we head into 2018, we would encourage you to incorporate these three key items into your Provider Network Management Department’s performance appraisal goals.
If the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) knocked on your door today, would you be ready to submit a compliant provider network within 60 days? CMS estimates the proposed three-year network adequacy review for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans would mean just that for approximately 304 MA plans for calendar year 2019.