As expanded supplemental benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans continue to grow and attract enrollees, a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) observed that there is still limited data on the extent to which beneficiaries are using these benefits. GAO suggested that CMS could do more to collect data on supplemental benefit use from MA organizations and recommended that it issue clarification on current encounter data reporting requirements.
“We’ve heard CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure say at pretty much every recent public appearance that they want to understand where the dollars are going, making sure that they’re getting good value for their investments,” remarks Tim Murray, a principal with the actuarial and consulting firm Wakely Consulting Group, an HMA company. “I think that has some read-through for risk adjustment, which is already playing out, but also of equal importance for the supplemental benefits. And I think if Medicare Advantage as an industry is going to be able to make a data-driven case that these supplemental benefits are actually driving sustainable value for members beyond marketing sizzle, then this issue will need to be addressed and remedied.”