FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adjoa Adofo, 202-735-0037
Washington, D.C. (April 4, 2016) – Better Medicare Alliance President and CEO Allyson Y. Schwartz released the following statement in response to the CY2017 Medicare Advantage Final Rate Notice and Call Letter released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today:
“The Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) is deeply concerned that CMS has finalized changes to policies and payment rates for the Medicare Advantage program that could disrupt stability and subsequently impact access to affordable, quality care for over three million retirees.
“CMS’ announcement today to finalize payment reductions for Medicare Advantage employer plans over the next two years is a disappointment. CMS essentially discounted analyses that indicated the potential negative impact on retirees who receive Medicare Advantage coverage through a former employer, union, or state and local government entities.
“Over the course of the past 45 days, BMA provided policy analysis and stakeholder feedback from its broad and diverse coalition that includes nurses, doctors, employers, health plans, aging service agencies, and retiree organizations. Specifically, BMA worked to provide data on the use of Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWPs) by releasing a report on the impact cuts to funding would have on beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage retiree plans.
“It is unfortunate that CMS has decided to move forward with their proposal to change the payment methodology for a popular coverage option that is working for beneficiaries, employers, and providers alike.
“In addition, though we support CMS’ commitment to ensuring that health risk is accurately captured, BMA is troubled by finalized changes to the risk adjustment model. BMA continues to have concerns that the model may not adequately predict costs for beneficiaries, especially the most vulnerable.
“Finally, we look forward to CMS ensuring a smooth, transparent transition towards increased use of encounter data over the next three years. We urge CMS to share more meaningful data and impact analysis moving forward.
“BMA believes Medicare Advantage is leading the way in the delivery of high-quality, value-based care for beneficiaries. More than 400 members of Congress stood in support of Medicare Advantage this year – the largest bipartisan, bicameral support we have seen in the history of the program. BMA will continue to work with policymakers in both parties and the Administration to ensure beneficiaries benefit from the critical care and services provided by Medicare Advantage.”
Better Medicare Alliance | The Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) is the leading coalition of nurses, doctors, health plans, employers, aging service agencies, advocates, retiree organizations, and beneficiaries supporting Medicare Advantage. BMA works to ensure the sustainability and stability of Medicare Advantage through information, research, education, and united support among stakeholders to strengthen this important coverage for seniors and people with disabilities. For more information please visit www.bettermedicarealliance.org.