Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Admits to Underpaying Dual-Eligible Health Plans
CMS has revealed that it underpays health plans that enroll large numbers of people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and the agency plans to modify its risk-adjustment model to make up for the underpayment. In response to persistent and vocal complaints from health plans questioning the accuracy of the CMS’ model for predicting costs of dual-eligible beneficiaries, the agency conducted a retrospective analysis of its 2014 plan data. CMS uses a prospective model (called the CMS-HCC) to calculate risk scores, using health status in a base year to predict costs in the following year. Those scores drive adjustments to capitated payments made for elderly and disabled beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and certain demonstration programs. “Our findings show that the community segment of the 2014 model … somewhat underpredicts for full-benefit, dual-eligible beneficiaries,” CMS said in an under-the-radar notice sent to plans on Oct. 28. The agency did not reveal a dollar amount for the underpayment. CMS is seeking comments on the proposed alterations by Nov. 25, and will publish final changes in a notice for the following payment year in February 2016.
Source/more: Modern Healthcare
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.