Tukey Trouble Sparks Elevance Suit Against HHS; Others May Follow

After a significant decline in Star Ratings performance for 2024, Elevance Health, Inc. and its affiliates have filed a lawsuit challenging CMS’s implementation of the Tukey outlier deletion methodology. Intended to infuse more “predictability and stability” into the Star Ratings by removing outliers from the cut point calculations for certain measures, its introduction was “fraught with errors and ambiguities during rulemaking” and marks a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), contends Elevance. And according to a leading Star Ratings expert, Elevance may not be the only MA insurer to sue CMS over its controversial implementation of the methodology.

The suit was filed by Elevance and affiliated entities in 18 states on Dec. 29 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In its complaint, Elevance contends that CMS’s actions were “unlawful, and arbitrary and capricious” when it applied Tukey to the 2024 Star Ratings while contradicting its own policy of establishing “guardrails” for determining Star measure cut points. It also alleges that CMS was arbitrary and capricious when calculating the cut points and determining the plaintiffs’ Star Rating on a single Part D measure — Call Center-Foreign Language Interpreter and TTY Availability.

© 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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