This week, our In Focus section reviews the California fiscal 2019-20 budget. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first budget, and much of its related legislation on June 27, 2019. The budget appropriates $214.8 billion ($147.8 billion General Fund) in total spending with $19.2 billion in reserves. The total reserves includes $16.5 billion in the Rainy Day Fund, $1.4 billion in the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties, $900 million in the Safety Net Reserve, and nearly $400 million in the Public School System Stabilization Account.
Dual Eligible Financial Alignment Demonstration Enrollment Update
This week, our In Focus section reviews publicly available data on enrollment in capitated financial and administrative alignment demonstrations (“Duals Demonstrations”) for beneficiaries dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (duals) in nine states: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas. Each of these states has begun either voluntary or passive enrollment of duals into fully integrated plans providing both Medicaid and Medicare benefits (“Medicare-Medicaid Plans,” or “MMPs”) under three-way contracts between the state, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the MMP. As of May 2019, approximately 372,600 duals were enrolled in an MMP. Enrollment was flat from May of the previous year.
HMA, CMCS Launch Resource for Medicaid Innovation Program
A team of HMA consultants, led by Izanne Leonard-Haak and Matt Roan, have collaborated with organizations under a Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) contract to provide support to CMCS on the Medicaid Innovation Accelerator Program.
New Opportunities and Requirements for Integrated Managed Care Models for Medicare-Medicaid Dually Eligible Individuals Served by Health Plans
This week, our In Focus section provides a high-level overview and an analysis for how health plans should consider two related and significant policy statements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about opportunities to further integrate care for dually eligible individuals. Specifically, the CMS April 24, 2019, State Medicaid Director letter (SMDL) outlines new opportunities for states, largely working with health plans, to test models of integrated care, including opportunities to continue current financial alignment initiatives (FAIs).[i] CMS also issued final rules related to Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) definitions and requirements for Medicare-Medicaid integration activities and unified grievances and appeals for calendar year 2021.[ii] Together, these guidance documents should present greater opportunities for health plans to partner with CMS and states to integrate care for dual eligible beneficiaries.[iii]
HMA Analysis of Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses Final Rule
On May 16, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule, Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses (Final Rule). The proposed rule, which was issued in November 2018, included a number of provisions intended to improve drug price transparency and expand use of utilization management tools to further Medicare Advantage and Part D cost-cutting efforts. However, in response to significant pushback from beneficiary advocates, physician groups, insurers, and pharmaceutical stakeholders, CMS elected not to implement key provisions. These include proposals to allow Part D plans to exclude protected class drugs from formularies as a result of price increases or if the drug is a new formulation of an existing single-source drug as well as proposed reforms to pharmacy price concessions that would require discounts be passed on to beneficiaries at the point of sale. Commenters in opposition to the pharmacy price concession proposal contend that these reforms would result in higher Part D premiums. While CMS has postponed addressing this provision in this Final Rule, the recently issued Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) proposed rule, if finalized, may include fundamental changes to these pricing arrangements and other federal safe harbors to the anti-kickback statute.
HMA Conference to Feature Insights from 40+ Speakers, Including Health Plan CEOs, State Medicaid Directors, Providers
Pre-Conference Workshop: September 8, 2019
Conference: September 9-10, 2019
Location: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
Health Management Associates is proud to announce its fourth annual conference on trends in publicly sponsored health care: The Next Wave of Medicaid Growth and Opportunity: How Payers, Providers, and States Are Positioning Themselves for Success.
The HMA conference has emerged as a premier informational and networking event, attracting more than 450 executives and policy experts. Speakers this year include state Medicaid directors and leaders from Medicaid managed care, hospitals, clinics, community-based organizations, and other providers.
CMS Announces Primary Cares Initiative
On April 22, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center announced the Primary Cares Initiative (PCI), which will present eligible providers and other entities with the opportunity to engage in value-based payment and direct contracting payment models for primary care beginning in January 2020. CMS designed PCI to reduce expenditures and preserve or enhance quality of care for beneficiaries in Medicare fee-for-service (FFS). PCI is comprised of two tracks, Primary Care First (PCF) and Direct Contracting (DC). The PCF track, which builds on the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) initiative, is intended for individual primary care practices and seeks to reward providers for reductions in hospital utilization and total cost of care through performance-based payment adjustments. Also, under the PCF track, practices that specialize in serving high-need and/or seriously ill populations will receive adjusted payments to account for the populations served. Providers that participate in these models will qualify as participating in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model and be eligible to receive full bonus payments under CMS’s Medicare Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
HMA MACPAC Report Published
A team of HMA colleagues including Sarah Barth, Sharon Silow-Carroll, Esther Reagan, Mary Russell and Taylor Simmons completed a study for the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) to examine care coordination requirements for several Medicare-Medicaid integrated care models.
The study’s final report, Care Coordination in Integrated Care Programs Serving Dually Eligible Beneficiaries – Health Plan Standards, Challenges and Evolving Approaches, is posted to the MACPAC website.
The final report details state and federal managed care contract requirements for care coordination, summarizes stakeholders’ perspectives on care coordination based on structured interviews, and highlights promising care coordination practices and challenges for ensuring effective care coordination for dually eligible beneficiaries.
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; 2020 Proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters
This week, our In Focus reviews the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2020. The new proposed rule does not contain as many major changes as the 2019 rule, but there are requests for comment on potentially important rulemaking starting in 2021 and guidance on important policy, such as:
Medicaid Plan PMPM Rates Rise 0.3 Percent in 2018 for TANF/CHIP In 19 States, 4 Percent for Expansion, HMAIS Analysis Shows
This week, our In Focus summarizes the findings of an HMA Information Services (HMAIS) analysis of Medicaid managed care rates in 2018 versus 2017. The analysis represents HMAIS’ first attempt at what will be an annual tracking of Medicaid managed care rate increases, which we will expand upon and refine over time with input from our readers and the Medicaid community. Complete results, including spreadsheets showing underlying analysis, will be made available to HMAIS subscribers. For information on how to subscribe, contact Carl Mercurio.