This week, our In Focus reviews the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Flexibility Final Rule (Final Rule) issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 5, 2019. The Final Rule implemented various provisions contained in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), which required the expansion of MA telehealth benefits and established new criteria for Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) integration requirements and streamlined Medicare and Medicaid grievance and appeals processes. The Final Rule also established rules to improve MA and Part D program quality and accessibility, clarified program integrity policies, and established new rules for the MA and Part D Quality Rating System.
This week, our In Focus reviews the Announcement of Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Payment Policies (Rate Announcement) and Final Call Letter, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on April 1, 2019. The Rate Announcement and Call Letter includes final updates to MA payment rates and guidance to plan sponsors as they prepare their bids for CY 2020. Bids for CY 2020 are due to CMS on or before Monday June 3, 2019. It is important to note that the Announcement and final Call Letter does not take into consideration the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) proposed rule which seeks to remove anti-kickback protection for prescription drug rebates, which, if finalized as proposed, could have significant impacts on Part D plans’ bids. While the administration has not provided any guidance on how plans should construct their 2020 bids in response to the rebate changes, HHS could decide to delay the rule’s effective date to 2021 or CMS may allow plans to update their 2020 bids later this year.
This week, our In Focus reviews the implications of the new federal guidance for state waivers with community engagement, premiums, non-eligibility periods, and other personal responsibility provisions.
On March 14, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued several new guidance documents that significantly increase the level of monitoring and evaluation required for Section 1115(a) Medicaid Demonstrations. These new requirements apply to community engagement, premiums, and other waiver provisions that impact eligibility and enrollment, and affect states currently with such waivers as well as any states proposing these ideas. Changes in reporting, data collection, and waiver monitoring processes will be necessary, and soon—as the materials details compliance dates for these significant new requirements.
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:
This week, our In Focus comes to us from HMA Senior Consultant Narda Ipakchi. On March 11, 2019, the White House released President Trump’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2020, which includes a number of legislative and administrative proposals related to Medicare that would reduce net Medicare spending by $811 billion over the next ten years. It is important to note that the legislative proposals included in the President’s budget are non-binding and serve as recommendations to Congress where they may or may not be advanced. Under a Democratic-majority House of Representatives, many of the legislative proposals outlined in the FY 2020 budget are unlikely to advance. Several of the policies, however, such as reductions to Medicare bad debt and implementing site neutral payment systems were also proposed by the previous administration. Administrative proposals are more likely to move forward, as the administration can implement these policies through its regulatory channels.
HMA Principal Madeleine Shea, with her partners from the National Committee for Quality Assurance and American Hospital Association, recently authored the Health Equity article, Explaining the Relationship between Minority Group Status and Health Disparities. While federal policy has moved in the direction of adjusting for poverty and disability as proxies for social risks, this article keeps the focus on race and ethnicity as a major explanation for health disparities in the United States.
This week, our In Focus reviews the Louisiana Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) request for proposals (RFP), released by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) on February 25, 2019. Selected MCOs will manage health care services for more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees statewide, starting January 2020.
This week, our In Focus reviews requests for proposals (RFPs) for Minnesota’s Medicaid managed care programs: 1. Families and Children Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare; 2. Minnesota Senior Care Plus (MSC+)/Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO). The two RFPs were released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services on February 25, 2019, with implementation scheduled to begin on January 1, 2020 for all programs.
A team of HMA colleagues, including Carrie Cochran, Helen DuPlessis, Jon Freedman, Kelly Krinn, Nora Leibowitz and Ryan Mooney conducted impact assessments of recommendations developed by the California Future Health Workforce Commission.