Reporter’s Notebook: National MA Summit Speakers Debate Imminent Risk Model Changes

Whether Medicare Advantage insurers like it or not, a host of changes are coming their way that will impact risk adjusted revenue starting in 2024 and could have downstream effects on beneficiaries and providers. The forthcoming overhaul of the CMS-Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) risk adjustment model, which will be phased in over three years starting in 2024, was arguably the hottest topic over four days of sessions at last month’s Fourth National Medicare Advantage Summit, where industry experts’ views on the model ranged from supportive to reproving.

MA plans next year can expect to receive, on average, a 3.32% increase in risk adjusted revenue, driven in part by an underlying coding trend of 4.44%, CMS estimated in a fact sheet on the final 2024 MA and Part D rate notice. With that notice, CMS finalized plans to remove thousands of diagnosis codes mapped to HCCs for payment, transition to the use of ICD-10 codes and update the underlying fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare data years. CMS has explained that the new model is intended to reflect the cost of care more accurately by using the more commonly used ICD-10 system and addressing discretionary coding (i.e., upcoding) that leads to wasteful spending.

© 2024 MMIT
Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues since the early 2000s and specializes in in-depth reporting on Medicare Advantage, managed Medicaid and Medicare Part D. She also possesses a deep understanding of the complex world of pharmacy benefit management, having written AIS Health’s Radar on Drug Benefits from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016. In addition to her role as managing editor of Radar on Medicare Advantage, she oversees AIS Health’s publications and manages the health editorial staff. She graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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