Alliance of Community Health Plans Will Work with Congress to Restore Benchmark Cap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charlie Patterson, Charlie@sqcomms.com
Erin Grandstaff, Erin@sqcomms.com

Alliance of Community Health Plans Will Work with Congress
to Restore Benchmark Cap

Washington, D.C.  (April 3, 2017) – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) President and CEO, Ceci Connolly, issued the following statement in response to the 2018 Payment Notice and Call Letter for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans released today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“ACHP’s member plans focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care. The equity of quality payments is essential to their ability to deliver high value care in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

“ACHP is pleased that CMS improved calculations of the per capita payment in line with our recommendations. While technical, these changes will allow member plans to continue providing stronger benefits to 2.4 million seniors in Medicare Advantage plans.

“We are disappointed, however, that CMS did not take steps to restore quality payments that have reduced benefits for 2.5 million seniors under the benchmark cap. ACHP believes CMS should has discretionary authority to fix the problem under current law and the January 20 Executive Order issued by the President.

“It is crucial that Medicare Advantage policy incentivize quality and value in care. We will work with Congress and the Administration to restore quality payments under the benchmark cap so the nation’s highest performing health plans can continue providing exceptional care and can provide the highest-quality benefits to the seniors who deserve them.”

In March, ACHP submitted comments in response to the Medicare Advantage Advance Notice and Call Letter.  In the comments, ACHP urged CMS to use discretionary authority to fix the benchmark cap for the 2018 plan year. ACHP also highlighted additional priorities for its member plans, including preventing the gaming of star ratings through consolidation of contracts, payment for employer retiree plans, and accurate calculation of costs in the traditional Medicare program that determine payment in Medicare Advantage.

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About ACHP
The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is a national leadership organization bringing together innovative health plans and provider groups that are among America’s best at delivering affordable, high-quality coverage and care. ACHP’s member health plans provide coverage and care for nearly 19 million Americans across 27 states and the District of Columbia. These organizations focus on improving the health of the communities they serve and are on the leading edge of innovations in affordability and quality of care, including primary care redesign, payment reform, accountable health care delivery and use of information technology. To learn more, go to www.achp.org and follow ACHP on Twitter @_ACHP.