This week, our In Focus section reviews the Indiana Medicaid managed care request for proposals (RFP) for health plans serving beneficiaries enrolled in Hoosier Healthwise and Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) programs. Contracts will be worth over $6 billion annually. The RFP was released on June 7, 2021, by the Indiana Department of Administration on behalf of the Family and Social Services Administration Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning.
This week, our In Focus section reviews California’s May Revision to the Governor’s Budget, which proposes a $267.8 billion budget (with $196.8 billion General Fund) for fiscal year 2021-22. The revised budget includes $24.4 billion in reserves, the largest in history. The May Revision builds on the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal and introduces several Medi-Cal initiatives and benefits for fiscal year 2021-22.
This week, our In Focus section reviews the key provisions of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Proposed Rule (CMS-1752-P), which includes Medicare payment updates and policy changes for the upcoming FY, with a comment deadline of June 28, 2021. This year’s proposed rule includes several proposals the hospital industry should carefully consider. In particular, the Biden Administration has proposed to:
This week, our In Focus section reviews publicly available data on enrollment in capitated financial and administrative alignment demonstrations (“Duals Demonstrations”) for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) 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 dual eligibles 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 February 2021, approximately 392,000 dual eligibles were enrolled in an MMP. Enrollment rose 5.7 percent from February of the previous year.
This week, our In Focus reviews the fiscal year (FY) 2022 skilled nursing facility (SNF) proposed payment rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 8, 2021. If the proposals contained in the rule are foreshadowing, SNFs will continue to face financial pressures coming out of the public health emergency. This payment update, combined with other policy proposals, is likely to lead to the smallest payment update since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 set a 1 percent increase in FY 2018. The rule proposes a net payment update of 1.3 percent after accounting for forecast error and the multifactor productivity adjustment. In addition to the payment update, CMS proposes changes to the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP), and the SNF Value-Based Program (VBP) for FY 2022. Notably, CMS proposes an eventual payment correction to achieve a budget neutral implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) that could result in a 5 percent rate reduction.
This week, our In Focus reviews federal enacted and proposed investments in home and community-based services (HCBS). HCBS are critically important for millions of Americans with disabilities and older adults, assisting them to remain in their homes and participate in their communities. People with disabilities and older adults have also been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, yet little federal funding has been directed to HCBS during the public health emergency. This changed on March 11, 2021, when the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into law, with both Medicaid and non-Medicaid HCBS funding included. Additionally, the Administration has recently proposed further HCBS investments in both The American Jobs Plan and the President’s 2022 Discretionary Request.
This week, our In Focus section highlights changes that may affect the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Advantage Star Rating program and how these changes impact future summary Part C & D Star Rating scores. As the CMS Medicare Advantage Star Rating program continues evolving from year to year, many plans have yet to achieve at least four star status, and therefore are missing out on additional Medicare revenues. The Star Rating landscape is expected to change drastically over the next two years for plans due to CMS’ continued focus on phasing-in greater reliance on outcomes measures and measures of care experience, rather than process measures. As a result, many plans are at risk of losing their four star overall rating and underperforming plans could be at risk of receiving a low performance indicator.
This week, our In Focus section summarizes the revised California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) proposal, released on February 17, 2021. Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, covers over 12 million individuals, with over 11 million in managed care. CalAIM seeks to standardize and streamline the Medi-Cal program and address health disparities and social determinants of health for high-risk, high-cost Medi-Cal members through broad-based delivery system, program, and payment reform. CalAIM was originally scheduled to begin its tiered implementation in January 2021, but due to COVID-19 has been delayed until January 2022. The revised proposal incorporates additional stakeholder input, learnings from the workgroup meetings, and ongoing policy development.
This week, our In Focus comes from an HMA cross-cutting subject matter team, who have updated a core set of federal policy slides that analyzes recent federal policy actions following the Presidential and Congressional elections. It includes an analysis of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief legislation currently in development and recent CMS regulatory and administrative actions. Specifically, the analysis looks at:
Rates of illness and death due to the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally impacted Americans who are Black, African American, Latinx, Native American, Asian, and other people of color as well as people with disabilities and those subsisting on poverty-level income. In response to this, AcademyHealth, in partnership with the Disability Policy Consortium (DPC), a Massachusetts-based cross-disability advocacy and action research organization, released a new report: Advancing Health Justice Using Medicaid Data: Key Lessons from Minnesota for the Nation. This report provides information on the importance of investing in data analysis to advance health justice in Medicaid populations. It further highlights the importance of partnering with communities most impacted by injustices that cause inequities in health outcomes.