Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its annual Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, a program intended to provide Medicare beneficiaries with additional information about health plans in their area and make quality data more transparent. Twenty-five percent of Medicare enrollees are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, which are rated on more than 50 quality measures, derived from multiple sources of data: CMS administrative data on plan quality and member satisfaction; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®); the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®); and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS).
There are 580 Medicare Advantage plans, 46 of which are ACHP members. All Medicare Advantage plans are rated on a one- to five-star scale, with five stars representing excellent performance on the quality measures. Each year, ACHP member plans demonstrate superior performance on the ratings: Of the 11 plans that are rated five stars, eight of them are ACHP members. Thirty Medicare plans operated by ACHP members received five, 4.5 and four stars in the combined 2013 Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Star Ratings.
Patricia Smith, ACHP president and CEO, states that “by providing high-quality care and service to millions of Medicare beneficiaries, ACHP members are making sure the federal government – and American taxpayers – are getting the value they demand from Medicare Advantage plans.”
For more information, look to the CMS stars technical guide, released in early September, which includes measure thresholds with which plans can interpret raw scores. A blog post by Health Dialog offers some useful, distilled information on the six key points from the technical guide – in case you would prefer not to read the entire 113-page document. CMS released their latest version in conjunction with the Star Ratings release today.
We will also be releasing additional blog posts in the coming weeks that will focus on specific plans’ performances and other elements of the Star Ratings.