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CMS

Verma Shares Vision for More State “Flexibility” in Affordable Care Act

November 30, 2018 - CMS has released new policies that purport to help states create “alternatives” to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and improve health insurance options, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. In an address to the States and Nation Policy Summit of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Washington, DC, Verma emphasized the need for states to address the...


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CMS Proposes to Deregulate, Fast Track Medicaid Managed Care Programs

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule to reduce regulation around Medicaid managed care programs and allow states to contract with private payers to deliver managed care at faster rates. CMS developed the rule in coordination with the National...

CMS to Audit Premium Subsidy Eligibility for Individual Health Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule that would audit premium subsidy eligibility for individual health plan beneficiaries and monitor premium assistance programs through the federal insurance exchanges. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care...

CMS Redesigns Medicare Home Health Payment with Case Mix Model

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule that would recalculate Medicare home health payments using a case mix payment model.   In 2020, the agency plans to implement the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) to compensate home health agencies...

CMS Extends Medicare Advantage Audit Program in 2019 Rule

by Thomas Beaton

CMS will be continuing its Medicare Advantage audit program, the agency indicated in a proposed 2019 rule, in an effort to ensure program integrity and reduce inappropriate payments to insurers. The changes are part of CMS’s new...

CMS Grants NC 1115 Medicaid Waiver to Implement Managed Care System

by Thomas Beaton

North Carolina has received a 1115 waiver from CMS allowing the state to implement a Medicaid managed care system administered through private payers. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can now recruit...

New Drug Pricing Model Could Save Medicare Part B $17.2 Billion

by Thomas Beaton

A new drug pricing model with an international component could save Medicare Part B approximately $17.2 billion over five years, CMS says.   The International Pricing Index (IPI) will test if using drug price benchmarks other...

CMS Proposes Drug Price Transparency in Television Ads

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has proposed a new rule that would enhance drug price transparency by requiring drug manufacturers to publish wholesale prices of Medicaid and Medicare prescription drugs during television ads. The proposed rule would require...

Medicare Deductibles, Premiums to Increase Slightly in 2019

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has announced that Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and deductibles are expected to increase slightly for the 2019 plan year. Part B members will see small increases in both their premiums and their deductibles, while Part A...

CMS: ACA Premiums to Decline in 2019 for Silver Plan Consumers

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has announced it expects the average ACA health plan premium to drop by 1.5 percent for healthy consumers that purchase low-cost silver tier plans. The agency stated that it is the first time since 2014 that premiums in any part of...

CMS Releases 2019 Medicare Advantage Health Plan Star Ratings

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has released its 2019 star ratings for Medicare Advantage (MA) health plans, noting that the Medicare Advantage market continues to grow in affordability and access for consumers. CMS estimates that 74 percent of MA beneficiaries will...

OIG Finds Profits to Blame for Denied Medicare Advantage Claims

by Thomas Beaton

Fifty-six percent of Medicare Advantage (MA) payers inappropriately denied claims from beneficiaries and providers to potentially profit from the capitated payment system, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General...

Medicare Advantage Premiums to Decrease by 6% in 2019

by Thomas Beaton

CMS officially announced a six-percent decrease in Medicare Advantage premiums in 2019 as the result of MA enrollment, health plan options, and benefits increase. All signs point to the MA marketplace continuing to be a lucrative...

CPC+ Model Offers Payers Insight into Population Health Management

by Thomas Beaton

CMS’s Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model may offer lessons and strategies for payers that want to increase primary care efficiency with population health management strategies. The CPC+ model is the nation’s largest...

AMA Expresses Concern with Medicare Part D Formulary Changes

by Thomas Beaton

New Medicare Part D formulary policies introduced by CMS in August may increase patient safety risks and complicate the prior authorization process, said AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, MD, to HealthPayerIntelligence.com. In an emailed...

CMS Adds Flexibility to Medicare Part D Formulary Strategies

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is encouraging Medicare Part D health plans to adopt new formulary design strategies that are geared towards lowering drug prices and improving consumer choice. A memo from the agency highlights a major upcoming change to the...

1115 Medicaid Demonstrations Should be Budget-Neutral, CMS Says

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has issued new guidelines for state officials around creating budget-neutral 1115 Medicaid demonstrations. CMS informed state governments that the agency will use a formalized methodology to determine if 1115 demonstrations are a...

CMS Tells States to Curb Silver-Loading with Off-Exchange Plans

by Thomas Beaton

CMS is asking state insurance departments to offer more off-exchange health plans in order to reduce silver-loading of qualified health plans (QHP). Silver-loading is the practice of raising premiums so that payers can earn larger federal...

CMS Provides $8.4M to Stabilize State Insurance Markets

by Thomas Beaton

CMS has awarded $8.4 million to 31 states in an effort to stabilize state insurance markets and increase the number of affordable health plan options for beneficiaries. Recipients are allowed to use the ACA-funded State Flexibility Grant...

New Jersey Gains CMS Approval for Reinsurance Program

by Thomas Beaton

New Jersey has received approval from CMS to implement a five-year reinsurance program that aims to lower individual health plan premiums by 15 percent. The program will operate from 2019 to 2023 and provide $218 million in reinsurance...

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