ACHP Statement in Response to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Final Medicare Advantage Rule

ACHP optimistic that CMS will move toward comparable quality reporting

standards for all Medicare Advantage plans

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Jack Ebeler, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), issued the following statement today in reaction to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) final rule governing the Medicare Advantage program:

“We commend CMS for bringing beneficiaries another step closer to meaningful Medicare reform.  Although CMS stopped short of announcing a timeline for requiring regional PPOs to report comprehensive quality data comparable to the data local MA plans report, it indicated a desire to ‘measure performance and compare plans on as many dimensions of care as possible’ and an expectation that it would require PPOs to report on more rigorous quality standards in the near future. 

“CMS’s own data show that the quality of Medicare health plans varies greatly.  The addition of regional PPOs to Medicare Advantage makes collecting and sharing quality information with beneficiaries even more important.  If beneficiaries don’t have the tools to compare the quality of all of their health plan options on a level playing field, they cannot make the best decisions about their care.

“We encourageCMSto move quickly to require more comprehensive quality reporting from regional PPOs, and we look forward to working with the agency as it implements its plan to do so.”

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*Reporters’/Editors’ Note:  ACHP issued two comment letters to CMS on its proposed Medicare Advantage rule.  The first – from October 2004 – discusses ACHP’s overall comments about the rule.  The second – from December 2004 – specifically addresses ACHP’s concerns about regional PPO quality reporting.

The Alliance of Community Health Plans brings together innovative health plans and provider organizations that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care to their communities.  Drawing on years of experience, members collaborate to identify problems, share information and work toward solutions to some of health care’s biggest challenges.  Their work is the foundation for ACHP’s advocacy on behalf of better health care nationally.  More information is available at www.achp.org.

 

Capital Health Plan; CareOregon; Excellus; Fallon Community Health Plan; Group Health Cooperative; Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin; Health Alliance Plan; HealthPartners; HIP Health Plan of New York; Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and the Permanente Federation; M•Plan; OSF HealthPlans; UCare Minnesota;

UPMC Health Plan