Until the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says otherwise, Medicare Advantage (MA) plans still must stay on top of Star rating measures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are three suggestions.

In a Gorman Health Group blog post, Melissa Smith, senior vice president of Stars & Strategy, offers several suggestions for how MA plans can address Stars during this unprecedented time. Here are three of them:

Make sure staff focus on four measures

Smith suggests focusing attention on these four measures:

  • Rating of health plan
  • Rating of drug plan
  • Rating of customer service
  • Rating of health care quality

As you make decisions to address the outbreak, add these questions to the decision-making process:

  • How does this support our members viewing us as a 5-star plan?
  • Does this help members receive the best possible quality of care?
  • How well are we helping members get the information, care, and support they need?

Have Stars and quality staff develop a post-COVID-19 Stars workplan
Assign staff whose duties and assignments are on hold as the result of the crisis to assess how your organization will need to adjust current Stars strategies, Smith says. For example, consider how to manage member expectations for routine care after social distancing guidance is lifted. Don’t forget about new measures that CMS plans to add to the program. Assess risks inside your organization and in service areas to develop a strategy to respond to new measures.

Give feedback to CMS
Let CMS know about the challenges your plan is facing and what you would like to see the agency offer for COVID-19 Star ratings relief. All the changes that CMS has made to the Star Ratings program in recent years are the direct result of plans providing feedback and recommendations to CMS, she says.

Click here to read the entire blog post.