Medicare

D-SNP 2021 Integration Requirements: Opportunities for Plans, States to Partner on Medicare-Medicaid Integration

This week, our In Focus section provides a high-level overview of the new Medicare Advantage Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) integration requirements in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) April 16, 2019, final rule[1] for calendar year (CY) 2021. CMS recently released two publications providing guidance and technical assistance to assist with the implementation of these new opportunities: the November 14, 2019, CMCS Informational Bulletin[2] and Integrated Care Resource Center technical assistance tool Sample Language for State Medicaid Agency Contracts with Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans.[3] Both identify steps to ensure that states’ Medicaid agency contracts (SMACs) with D-SNPs comply with the new 2021 requirements, and further encourage states and D-SNPs to work together to address the often fragmented care provided to the Medicare-Medicaid dually eligible population.

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New Medicare Benefit: Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

This week, our In Focus section examines the new Medicare benefit for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) treatment that includes counseling, as well as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and related items and services. This benefit was established by Congress in the SUPPORT Act of 2018 and is now being implemented by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Medicare beneficiaries, including those dually eligible for Medicare & Medicaid, are the fastest growing group of OUD patients. Beneficiaries may access one of two types of providers: Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) (i.e., methadone clinics), or physicians + other health professionals. Providers offering these services will receive a bundled payment, either weekly or monthly depending on the type of provider, that can repeat as long as a patient needs treatment. Based on early guidance, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have already created 2020 benefit packages that provide a level of access to OTP services that is “consistent with prevailing community patterns of care.”  Now that the new benefit is final, MA will need to cover both OTP & Physician OUD treatment for 2021.

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HMA Medicare Experts in Demand

HMA Principal Mary Hsieh offered her expertise and insights during a panel discussion at the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Conference. The panel, Blockbuster Medicare Innovations, focused on sweeping policy changes announced by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

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Preliminary Insights on 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Offerings

This week, our In Focus section reviews the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D landscape files for the 2020 plan year released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on September 24, 2019. These files include information on MA and Part D offerings, including premiums and benefit design. This year’s release signals continued growth for the MA program in 2020. Nationwide, the number of MA plans continues to increase, with 3,144 offerings, up from 2,741 in 2019.  Among these plans, 2,832 will offer Part D coverage. CMS states that the average monthly plan premium is expected to decrease 14 percent to $23.00 in 2020 down from $26.87 in 2019. According to CMS, this is the lowest average monthly premium since 2007.

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Highlights from this Week’s HMA Conference on The Next Wave of Medicaid Growth and Opportunity

This week, our In Focus section provides a recap of the fourth annual HMA Conference, The Next Wave of Medicaid Growth and Opportunity: How Payers, Providers, and States are Positioning Themselves for Success, held this Monday, September 9, and Tuesday, September 10, in Chicago, Illinois. Nearly 500 leading executives representing managed care organizations, providers, state and federal government, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in the health care field gathered to address the challenges and opportunities for organizations serving Medicaid and other vulnerable populations. Conference participants heard from keynote speakers, engaged in panel discussions, and connected during informal networking opportunities. Below is a summary of highlights from this year’s conference.

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CMS Medicare Fee-For-Service FY 2020 Proposed Rules Part 2: Physician Fee Schedule and Home Health

This week, our In Focus section reviews the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Fee-For-Service FY 2020 proposed rules: the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), released on July 2019, and Home Health prospective payment system, released on July 11, 2019. For the hospital outpatient department (HOPD) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) prospective payment systems (PPS) and the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) PPS proposed rules, please see last week’s In Focus here.

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CMS Medicare Fee-For-Service FY2020 Proposed Rules: Hospital Outpatient Department and End-Stage Renal Disease

This week, our In Focus section reviews the new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Fee-For-Service FY 2020 proposed rules. On July 29, 2019, CMS issued the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 proposed rules for the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), the hospital outpatient department (HOPD) and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) prospective payment systems (PPS), and the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) PPS. These proposed regulations include payment rate and policy changes for the upcoming calendar year. The comment deadline for all three of these proposed rules is September 27, 2019.

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California 2019-20 Budget Overview

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.

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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.

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