Medicare Advantage

News & Analysis as of

CMS Call Letter: Changes to and Implications of Star Ratings

In its February 20, 2015 Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year (CY) 2016 for Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2016 Call Letter, CMS addressed a variety of issues...more

CMS Releases Updates to Its Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Audit Protocols and Processes

On February 12, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an updated version of its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and prescription drug benefit (“Part D”) plan audit protocols and also announced the...more

CMS Releases 2016 Draft Call Letter

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) released its 2016 Advance Rate Notice and draft Call Letter (2016 Call Letter) for the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D programs. The 2016 Call Letter outlines...more

Final Medicare Advantage/Part D Rule for Contract Year (CY) 2016

CMS has published a final rule revising Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D prescription drug benefit regulations for CY 2016. Among other things, the final rule...more

CMS Releases Proposed Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter for 2016

On Friday, February 20, 2015, CMS released its Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year 2016 for Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2016 Call Letter (the...more

CMS Issues New Audit Protocols for Medicare Advantage Organizations and Part D Sponsors

On February 13, 2015, CMS announced new audit protocols and process updates for the 2015 Program Audit Cycle for Medicare Advantage (MA) organizations and Part D sponsors. According to the memorandum, 2015 begins a new...more

CMS Takes a Measured Approach to Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Payment Rates and Policy Changes for 2016

Increased Part D Drug Costs Set the Stage for Higher Beneficiary Premiums - The Advance Notice (“Advance Notice”) of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year (“CY”) 2016 for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Capitation Rates,...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Upcoming Hearing: HHS Sec. Burwell Appearing Before E&C Committee on FY2016 Budget... CMS Issues 2016 Payment and Policy Updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans... CMS Releases Improved Rating System for Nursing...more

Strategizing to Operationalize the Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule

More than a year ago, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed significant regulatory changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Programs, many of which were the subject of significant...more

CMS Finalizes Policy Rules For Medicare Parts C and D

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rules on policy and technical changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Benefit programs (Part D) for contract year...more

CMS Finalizes Changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D Programs

On February 6, 2015, CMS released a final rule revising certain requirements for the Medicare Advantage and Part D programs. The changes will be effective for Contract Year 2016. According to CMS, the final rule implements...more

Debate Intensifies Over Medicare Advantage Plans’ Removal of Providers

Which is more important in a Medicare Advantage plan: the plan’s flexibility to change its provider list during the plan year, or the enrollees’ right to confidence that their providers won’t be removed from the plan after...more

CMS Seeks Comments on Proposed Enhancements and Modifications to the Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription...

On November 21, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released a Request for Comments on proposed enhancements and modifications to the 2016 Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) and Part D...more

CMS Requests Comments on Changes to 2016 Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

On November 21, 2014, CMS released a request for comments on its proposed enhancements to the 2016 Star Ratings for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans (Request). The Request also provides advance notice of...more

HHS Office of Inspector General Proposes Expansions of Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and Civil Monetary Penalties Law Exceptions

On October 3, 2014, the Office of the Inspector General (the “OIG”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a proposed rule that would amend regulations implementing the federal anti-kickback...more

CMS Requests Input on Health Plan Innovation Initiatives

Medicare Advantage (“MA”) plans, prescription drug plans (“PDPs”), and other stakeholders have until November 3, 2014, to provide input into the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS’s”) consideration of potential...more

Pennsylvania Hospitals Challenge Medicare Advantage Plan’s Sequestration Adjustment

On September 22, 2014, twelve hospitals filed a complaint in a Pennsylvania state court against a Medicare Advantage plan, Highmark, Inc., along with its HMO subsidiary, for implementing a two-percent reduction to the...more

CMS Continues to Struggle with How to Provide High Quality Care to Dual Eligibles

Last week CMS announced that it would not execute its option to terminate its 2015 contracts with Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D plans that had scored three stars or less for three consecutive years. ...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - September 2014

GAO Finds CMS Should Fully Develop Plans for Medicare Advantage Encounter Data and Assess Data Quality Before Use – In a report released on September 2, 2014, GAO evaluated CMS’s plans for using Medicare Advantage (MA)...more

CHI Takes the Plunge into the Insurance Business

For several years now hospital systems have been tip-toeing around the business of health insurance. They’ve been signing up for Medicare Advantage plans, taking on more and more risk, managing care and raiding health...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - July 2014 #3

CMS Revises Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Plan Prior Authorization Requirement for Hospices – On July 18, 2014, CMS released a revised a memorandum outlining responsibility for drug payments for hospice...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update - July 2014

On June 30, in one of the most highly anticipated cases affecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies could assert a “religious objection” to the ACA contraceptive coverage...more

CMS Releases CY 2015 OPPS and ASC Proposed Rule

On July 3, 2014, CMS released the CY 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System Proposed Rule. In its proposal, CMS seeks, among other things, to increase...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - June 2014 #4

CMS Holds Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Oversight and Enforcement Conference – On June 24, 2014, CMS offered an in-person program that instructed Medicare Advantage and Part D providers as to how they could...more

The SEC v. Congress . . . for the Title

You don’t see this every day. On Friday, the SEC filed a subpoena enforcement action seeking production of documents from the House Ways and Means Committee and documents and testimony from one of its staff members, Brian...more

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