Bonuses Tied To Medicare Advantage’s Star System Reward Plans For Quality
Nine plans scored top marks for 2012, up from only three in 2011.
The New York Times: Prescriptions: Bonuses Tied To Medicare's Star System Reward Insurers
For the first time, a government-backed quality rating will have a financial meaning to health insurance companies looking to attract millions of older Americans to privately run Medicare coverage next year. Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to use quality ratings unveiled Wednesday to attract more business and promote their ratings, given that the federal government is dangling a carrot in the form of bonus payments ranging from 3 to 5 percentage points (Japsen, 10/12).
Kaiser Health News: Chasing The Stars, Insurers Improve Quality – And Revenue
Nine Medicare Advantage plans scored top marks on the five-star government rating system for 2012, up from only three plans this year, according to new figures posted by Medicare Wednesday (Weaver, 10/12).
The Hill: Survey: Medicare Patients Clueless About Health Plan Ratings
Most Medicare beneficiaries have no idea how the federal program's rating system works, according to a new Kaiser Permanente survey. The survey comes as the annual enrollment period for seniors starts Saturday. The Department of Health and Human Services has been touting its new Medicare Star Quality Ratings program as a way for seniors to pick the best plan, but the survey found that only 18 percent of beneficiaries are familiar with it — and only 2 percent actually knew their current plan's rating. "Evaluating a Medicare plan can be challenging. There are many things to consider, but quality should be at the top of any consumer's list," Kaiser Permanente's senior vice president for quality, Jed Weissberg, said in a statement. "Educating consumers about and encouraging them to use the Medicare Star Quality Ratings helps to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries are receiving only the best available care" (Pecquet, 10/12).
Bangor Daily News: Maine Health Group Receives Five-Star Medicare Advantage Rating
A Portland-based health care organization is one of just nine companies nationwide to receive the highest possible ranking for its Medicare Advantage programs, according to data released on Wednesday by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The rating identifies Martin’s Point Health Care as the only Medicare Advantage carrier in Maine, and one of just two in New England, to win the top-ranking five-star designation. The designation grants Martin's Point significant benefits, including higher reimbursement levels than other Medicare Advantage plans as well as the ability to enroll new members year-round rather than only during the annual open enrollment period to which other plans are limited. That period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 this year and also is the window for enrolling in or changing Medicare Part D prescription coverage plans (Haskell, 10/12).