Chet Speed, J.D., LL.M.
Vice President, Public Policy
(703) 838-0033, ext. 364

February 23, 2016

AMGA Statement on Proposed Medicare Advantage 2017 Rates, Policies

Alexandria, VA – On February 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Medicare Advantage (MA) 2017 Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter.  The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) appreciates CMS’ effort to maintain the viability of the MA program, which is vitally important to millions of Medicare beneficiaries and AMGA members.

MA enrollment has reached a record number of more than 17.1 million enrollees.  As a result, MA plans are responsible for about one-third of Medicare patients.  Enrollment has increased more than 50 percent since 2010, a testament to the quality care coordination and benefits that MA plans provide.

“It’s no surprise that Medicare Advantage enrollment is increasing,” said Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., CAE, AMGA’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Medicare beneficiaries enjoy enhanced benefits and coverage from quality providers and the program meets CMS’ goals of improving population and individual patient health.” 

The draft call letter includes a proposal to modify how encounter data is used in calculating risk scores.  AMGA previously expressed concerns that it will be difficult for healthcare providers to capture the appropriate encounter data if their electronic health records do not have the appropriate fields.  AMGA will carefully examine this proposal but is extremely concerned that CMS is proposing to increase its reliance on encounter data.

AMGA looks forward to working with CMS as it finalizes its proposal for 2017.  The MA program includes popular supplemental benefits to millions of Medicare beneficiaries who rely on AMGA members for patient-centered, quality medical care.

About AMGA
The American Medical Group Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(6) trade association representing medical groups, health systems, and other organized systems of care, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated delivery systems. AMGA is a leading voice in advocating for efficient, team-based, and accountable care. AMGA members encompass all models of organized systems of care in the healthcare industry, including: physician-owned, independent group practices, integrated delivery systems, hospital-affiliated medical groups, independent practice associations (IPAs), academic and faculty practices, accountable care organizations, and high-performing health systems. Approximately 177,000 physicians practice in AMGA member organizations, providing healthcare services for 133 million patients (approximately one in three Americans). Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, AMGA is the strategic partner for these organizations, providing a comprehensive package of benefits, including political advocacy, educational and networking programs, publications, benchmarking data services, and financial and operations assistance.