More than 30 Provider, Consumer, Community-Based Nonprofit and Health Advocacy Groups Write to CMS Touting Support for Medicare Advantage
YMCA, National Hispanic Medical Association, LeadingAge, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Visiting Nurse Service of New York among signers urging protection for 28 million MA beneficiaries
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance, the nation’s leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, applauded recent comment letters sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) supporting Medicare Advantage.
The three separate letters highlighted Medicare Advantage’s use of innovative supplemental benefits, touted the importance of its in-home health risk assessments, and discussed its work to improve health equity and deliver care to an increasingly diverse beneficiary population.
Collectively, more than 30 of the nation’s top provider groups, consumer organizations, professional associations, community-based nonprofits, and health advocacy organizations signed the letters of support for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries, including:
- A January 11 letter to CMS from National Hispanic Medical Association, National Medical Association, and Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum lauded Medicare Advantage as “critical” to improving health equity and noted the 111% growth in enrollment among minority beneficiaries since 2013. The authors highlighted Medicare Advantage as a “proven” coverage option that “that address[es] the unique needs of a diverse beneficiary population” and called upon the administration to “ensure stability in the upcoming MA payment and policy setting process for 2023.” Read the letter here.
- A January 25 letter to CMS from USAging, the Association of Behavioral Health and Wellness, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, Consumer Action, the Gerontological Society of America, Health Care Transformation Taskforce, Health CAWS, LeadingAge, Population Health Alliance, SilverSneakers, SNP Alliance, and YMCA noted the importance of Medicare Advantage’s use of supplemental benefits in addressing social determinants of health and called on CMS to “preserve the flexibility permitted in designing supplemental benefit offerings.” The organizations additionally offered recommendations to improve transparency around supplemental benefit offerings on Medicare Plan Finder and build on opportunities available under CMS’ V-BID model “so health plans can better address and reduce health disparities.” Read the letter here.
- A separate January 25 letter to CMS from Agilon Health, Atrius Health, Austin Regional Clinic, Buffalo Medical Group, Central Ohio Primary Care, Family Care Medical Group, Physician Group of Southeastern Ohio, Premier Health Physicians, Pinehurst Medical Clinic, Pioneer Physicians Network, PriMed Physicians, Signify Health, Starling Physicians, The Toledo Clinic, The Vancouver Clinic, VillageMD, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, and Wilmington Health explained the importance of in-home health risk assessments (HRAs) to “to deliver preventive care and address a beneficiary’s physical, mental, and functional needs.” The organizations explained HRAs as “essential to the high-quality, value-based clinical care model deployed in Medicare Advantage” and offered policy solutions to further strengthen this clinical tool. Recommendations included codifying best practices for in-home HRAs, establishing guidelines for follow-up care after an in-home HRA, and developing enhanced screening for social risk factors as part of an HRA. Read the letter here.
“Better Medicare Alliance applauds these health care leaders for rallying around the 28.5 million Americans who depend on Medicare Advantage and offering thoughtful recommendations to strengthen this coverage lifeline for its increasingly diverse beneficiary population,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “Whether it is protecting Medicare Advantage’s capacity to offer valuable supplemental benefits that address social risk factors, safeguarding its ability to provide in-home care that meets seniors where they are, or applying lessons learned from Medicare Advantage in efforts to improve equity across health care sectors, it is critical that policymakers in Washington protect what’s working and ensure stability for beneficiaries in the years ahead. Working with these and other health care leaders, we will continue to advocate for the nearly 1 in 2 Medicare beneficiaries who choose Medicare Advantage and want to see their coverage choices respected and heard.”