Home Health Stakeholders Voice Their Concerns To CMS Over Medicare Advantage Program

Home Health Care News | By Joyce Famakinwa
Home health stakeholders – and many others – recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the way Medicare Advantage (MA) is currently administered by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and Moving Health Home are among the two groups that answered CMS’ request for information.
In July, CMS released that request for information seeking public comment on the MA program. Comments were to be submitted by Aug. 31, 2022.
“The significance is that CMS is beginning to evaluate the plans more closely in terms of provider relations and approaches to health care delivery for enrollees and how the plans can improve health care services for these beneficiaries,” Mary Carr, vice president of regulatory affairs at NAHC, told Home Health Care News in an email.
Broadly, the comment period gave home health stakeholders the opportunity to affect potential future rulemaking on various aspects of the MA program. This is notable because Medicare Advantage enrollment continues to grow — having more than doubled over the last decade.
In fact, Medicare Advantage has 28.4 million beneficiaries, or 45% of the Medicare population. By 2030, Medicare Advantage is expected to have over 52% of total Medicare enrollment, according to data from the research and advocacy organization Better Medicare Alliance.
With enrollment on the rise, it’s likely that providers will become even more entangled with health plans offering Medicare Advantage. And as this happens, it’s the responsibility of providers and plans to work together, NAHC President William A. Dombi wrote in the organization’s comments to CMS.
“It is imperative that the [MA] plans and the provider community work together to ensure patient-centered, high quality health care is provided to all beneficiaries,” he said.
This comment period is also significant because it gives home health stakeholders the floor to share their point of view. In the past, providers have been vocal about the challenges surrounding MA.
Specifically, providers have struggled with receiving fair rates for the services they deliver. 

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