In a Nov. 15 rule proposing policy and technical changes for the 2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D plan year, CMS made numerous changes aimed at protecting beneficiaries from “predatory marketing” and ensuring they enroll in the MA plans that best meet their needs. And depending on how plans execute these new provisions, some have the potential to impact Star Ratings, industry experts observe. At the same time, the rule proposed several methodological enhancements, clarifications and operational updates to the 2025 Star Ratings.
For example, CMS provided an update on its plans to include the Universal Foundation of quality measures that would align across all CMS programs and to provide a “building block to which programs will add additional aligned or program-specific measures.” As part of this plan, CMS said it has submitted the Initiation and Engagement of Substance Use Disorder Treatment (IET) Part C measure to the Measures Application Partnership (MAP) for review as a measure under consideration. Additionally, CMS indicated that it will submit three other Universal Foundation measures — Adult Immunization Status, Depression Screening and Follow-Up, and Social Need Screening and Intervention, which are now reported as display measures — to MAP prior to proposing the use of those measures in future rulemaking.