On September 15, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released State Medicaid Director (SMD) letter #20-004 regarding value-based care (VBC) opportunities in Medicaid.  In the letter, CMS lays out a road map for state Medicaid agencies to adopt value-based payment (VBP). The SMD describes how states can use existing – or obtain new – authorities to adopt VBP. It lists examples of successful VBP designs in other states and identifies key enabling factors from its examination of lessons learned over the last ten years of investments in VBC activities.
The District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) has engaged Health Management Associates (HMA) to spearhead a multi-year training and coaching effort across the District. The five-year project will support Medicaid providers’ efforts to deliver whole person care by integrating physical and behavioral health in order to better manage the complex needs of Medicaid beneficiaries.
This week, our In Focus sections reviews the Missouri HealthNet Pharmacy and Clinical Services Management Solution request for information (RFI) and the Kentucky Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) Pharmacy Benefit Manager request for proposals (RFP).
This week, our In Focus section reviews the policy changes included in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) Final Rule (CMS-1735-F). This year’s IPPS Final Rule includes several important policy changes that will change hospitals’ administrative procedures and may alter hospitals’ Medicare margins, beginning as soon as October 1, 2020.
This week, our In Focus section reviews the California request for information (RFI) regarding the Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan (MCP) contract and the upcoming Medi-Cal MCP procurement. The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) is seeking information to update boilerplate contracts and develop the request for proposals (RFP) scheduled for release in 2021.
Today, Jay Rosen, founder and president of Health Management Associates (HMA), announced the firm’s acquisition of Burns & Associates, Inc., an Arizona-based health policy consulting firm that specializes in innovative approaches to the financing and delivery of health care and human services.
This week, our In Focus section reviews Democratic Nominee Joe Biden’s healthcare plan to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On August 18, 2020, Biden was officially nominated as the presidential candidate. Biden vowed at the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) that if elected, he would strengthen the ACA and provide a Medicare-like public option. HMA summarizes Biden’s official plan below.
This week, our In Focus section reviews two Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) proposed rules recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). On August 3, 2020, CMS released a proposed rule that includes updates to services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). On August 4, CMS released the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System proposed rule. These proposed regulations include payment rate and policy changes for the upcoming calendar year. Key features in this year’s PFS proposed rule include: policies to retain, extend, or end certain telehealth flexibilities implemented in response to the novel COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), changes to enable certain health care professionals to practice at the top of their licenses, modifications to opioid treatment programs (OTPs), and updates to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Additional information on the PFS Proposed Rule can be found here. Among the most notable policy changes in the OPPS and ASC proposed rule are: 1) transitioning services to lower cost settings by eliminating the inpatient-only list to enable more services to be provided in the outpatient settings and increasing the scope of procedures that can be provided in ASCs, 2) further reducing payments for the 340B drug program, and 3) modifying the formula for calculating Hospital Star Ratings, and expand the use of prior authorization for outpatient services. Additional information about these proposals can be found here.
This week, our In Focus section examines how the federal government implemented changes to the Medicare program in response to COVID-19. As the COVID-19 pandemic began in the United States, Congress and the Administration responded with a series of legislative, regulatory, and sub-regulatory changes to the Medicare program that were designed to provide relief from certain Medicare rules to assist health care providers, Medicare Advantage organizations, and Part D plans in responding to the pandemic. Some of these changes waived conditions of Medicare participation to enable patients to be treated in alternative care settings. Others permitted physicians and other providers to receive Medicare reimbursements for telemedicine services.
HMA Information Services (HMAIS) is pleased to announce the expansion of its industry-leading healthcare information website to include information and state-by-state profiles of the market for Medicare Advantage and Special Needs Plans (SNPs).