The CMS on Friday will unveil preliminary payment rates and policies for 2017 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. And judging from the barrage of ads that have already come out, it's likely to be contentious.
Proposed payment benchmarks, the updated risk-adjustment model, provider networks and in-home assessments will be highly watched policy topics.
In February, federal policymakers lay out their calculations of Medicare Advantage rates and modify how the program will serve beneficiaries. The final 2017 document comes out April 4, giving insurers six weeks to lobby.
A December preview showed that the Medicare fee-for-service baseline rate, one of the big elements informing the final payment rate, will increase by 3.1%. That figure is expected to change on Friday and in April as the CMS gathers more data.
Updates to the new Medicare Advantage risk-adjustment model will grab significant attention because it is the basis of how plans get paid for each member, said Ankur Goel, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery.
America's Health Insurance Plans and the Better Medicare Alliance, two lobbying groups, have blasted out ads and policy papers over the past couple of weeks in hopes that the CMS will tread lightly with any new regulations.
“We want to make sure policymakers do understand and hear about the very positive work that's being done under Medicare Advantage,” said Allyson Schwartz, CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance and former U.S. House representative.