News Briefs: Bipartisan Bill Takes Aim at ‘Upcoding’ in Medicare Advantage

A recently introduced bipartisan bill seeks to reduce Medicare Advantage plan overpayments by eliminating financial incentives to “upcode,” or make beneficiaries appear sicker than they may be in the name of higher Medicare reimbursement. Introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the No Unreasonable Payments, Coding or Diagnoses for the Elderly (No UPCODE) Act would eliminate those incentives by: developing a risk adjustment model that uses two years of diagnostic data instead of just one year; excluding diagnoses collected from chart reviews and health risk assessments for risk adjustment purposes; and including an adjustment that fully accounts for the impact of coding pattern differences between traditional Medicare and MA.

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Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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