Topic: Star Ratings

Star Ratings: 10 Years, 10 Lessons

Melissa Smith

The Star Ratings program celebrates its 10th birthday this year. In honor of the first decade of quality ratings systems within managed care, and to celebrate the many lessons we’ve learned during these formative years of the Star Ratings program, here are 10 of our top lessons from the first 10 years of the program. Read more

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Advancement in Analytics

Nancy Djordjevic

It’s all about the numbers! As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tries to quantify more and more aspects of government-sponsored healthcare, metrics are a critical component.

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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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Building A New Provider Network or Planning Your Next Service Area Expansion? Don’t Lose Sight of Your Biggest Asset

Elena Martin

The sun is shining, kids are out of school, and vacation season is in full swing! While our Health Plan Network and Product teams are taking a few deep breaths after application and bid filing deadlines, we cannot rest on our laurels for very long. Summer is the best time to start planning your next service area expansion (SAE) or even your first step into the Medicare Advantage (MA) world. Maybe you are an established MA plan evaluating where to expand your geographic footprint. Maybe you are a Medicaid plan looking to expand into the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) arena and are wondering what it would take to have a Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan so many of the MLTSS Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are expecting; or maybe you are an Accountable Care Organization looking to leverage your infrastructure and enter the payer world. Perhaps, maybe, summer is the perfect time to start planning for your network needs. Plans need to be even more vigilant in managing their largest asset. Regardless of the size and scope of the organization, your plan’s network adequacy and accessibility is a cornerstone of any new initiative.

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Latest Sherlock Benchmarks Confirm Medicare Advantage is a Miserable Beast to Manage

John Gorman

The geniuses at Sherlock Company, whose benchmarks on health plan administrative standards are considered the gold standard, have released their 2016 findings and the numbers paint a clear picture: Medicare Advantage (MA) is a miserable beast of a product.  It’s complicated and labor- and capital-intensive, requiring tremendous patience for executives and investors alike.

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An Important Component of MACRA: Quality Measures Development Plan

Olga Walther

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed regulation that will implement the payment incentives through the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs) as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). An important component of these new incentives is the Quality Measure Development Plan (MDP), which CMS finalized and posted this week. The purpose of the MDP is to create a strategic framework for the future of quality measure development to support MIPS and advanced APMs.

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