Health plans “score” with Medicare’s 5-star rating system
October 19, 2011
We recently posted this on the Extend Health blog and I thought you might find it interesting.
On Wednesday (10/12), the federal government released its annual review of private Medicare Advantage health plans. In addition, 5-Star quality ratings are now posted along with the plans loaded in “Medicare Plan Finder available on Medicare.gov.
This year health plans are paying much closer attention to their ratings because they stand to make more money if they score higher on Medicare’s 5-star quality rating system. The bonuses could be substantial, even for insurers that only make small increases in their ratings. Carriers with well-rated plans hope that the droves of baby boomers becoming eligible for Medicare will pay attention to the star ratings and choose their plans.
The ratings are based on 36 measures in five categories, covering things like screenings, tests, complaints, service, and other relevant measures. There’s a helpful CMS document called, “Choose Higher Quality for Better Health Care,” that provides a very good overview of the program. We also recommend reading our previous blog post, “New MA star ratings released by CMS.”
For more, check out these very good articles written recently on the subject.
“Private Medicare Plans Use Stars To Navigate For Profits” from NPR
“Chasing The Stars, Insurers Improve Quality — And Revenue” from Kaiser Health News
Visit Extend Health — the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange.