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- Alan Mittermaier on MA and Part D Proposed Rule Increases Plan Flexibility, Reduces Regulatory Burden
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Topic: Star Ratings
In 2015, plans were met with the first “a-ha” moment when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the 2016 Star Ratings Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Comprehensive Medication Review (CMR) completion Star Ratings cut points indicating, at least when it came to delivering a completed CMR to a member, some plans were clearly outperforming others. Since then, the stakes have continued to be raised on MTM vendors or those conducting MTM in-house to meet the challenge of how to cost effectively improve their delivery of completed medication reviews. This is especially challenging given the varying nature of plan delivery types and the vastly different member demographics for whom they provide services.
With the much anticipated Advance Notice now in hand, we have our first glimpse into the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the 2019 and 2020 Star Ratings. Though CMS hasn’t yet proposed any noteworthy changes (or removed any measures) as part of its “Meaningful Measures” or “Patients Over Paperwork” initiatives, there are plenty of proposals to be carefully considered. Here’s a quick summary of CMS’ proposals impacting the 2019 Star Ratings: Read more
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 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.
With comments on the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Benefit Program (Part D) Proposed Rule for 2019 due by January 16, 2018, we’ve received numerous requests for help distilling the Stars elements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS’) 713 pages of proposed regulations. Yep, we’ve read all 713 pages, and CMS is seeking feedback on numerous potential adjustments to the Star Ratings programs in the coming years. CMS has, and continues to, demonstrate its willingness to consider plan feedback on proposed changes, and plans should seize this opportunity to be “on the record” so CMS can make well-informed decisions as it adjusts the program in the coming years.