Saturday, March 16, 2013

Health care updates


Health Care Reform

Medicare Advantage Call-to-Action: As you already know, CMS last month proposed payment rate cuts to Medicare Advantage plans for next year, the repercussions of which are already being leveraged in opposition to the proposed change.  The value of coordinated, patient-centered care, specifically in regards to Medicare Advantage, has already been established, so it’s no surprise that the response to the proposed cuts has been vociferous.  Late last month, a triumvirate of Congressional leaders sent a letter to CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner outlining their concerns over what the cuts could mean to patient care.  The letter, from Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan), and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) was submitted just prior to close of the comment period.  Close on their heels, last week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) sent a letter of his own to CMS pressing the agency to scale back the proposed cuts. 

Exchange Rate: Even as the counter to October’s open enrollment date for the new health insurance exchanges continues to wind down, there’s a growing, albeit silent, murmur of uncertainty surrounding whether or not they’ll be ready in time.  Despite a good many states having received approval to either operate their own exchanges or partner with a federally-facilitated version, more than half decided to leave it up to the federal government to run theirs.  What’s worrying some, though, apart from the overwhelming confusion and inherent complexity accompanying their launch, is that Washington might wind up having to step in and run the exchanges for the states that find themselves faltering.

Great Expectations: There’s no denying the percussive force of the Affordable Care Act.  From large employers to small business owners to uninsured individuals, there isn’t a single constituency that will escape its reach.  While some have already begun exploring just how they can make sure they come out ahead once the law is fully implemented, others have sought to temper those expectations with warnings grounded in actuarial analysis and hard-won experience.  But, one thing experts can probably agree on is that, nearly three years after its initial passage, there are as many questions today as answers.

No comments: