Only a few spots are left for this year’s RISE Star Ratings Master Class, which will take place Dec. 11-12 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar Hotel in San Diego. This 9th annual event will feature a special session with Ashby Wolfe, M.D., chief medical officer for Regionals VIII, IX, X at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, who will provide an update on CMS policy for the Medicare Stars program. Read on to learn what else is in store at this year’s Star Ratings Master Class and why you don’t want to miss it.

Strategies from top-rated health plans, a first-hand report from a CMS official about the agency’s quality improvement policy for Medicare Advantage and health system transformation, and the results of an exclusive survey on healthcare consumer engagement are just a few of the highlights planned for the 9th Annual RISE Star Ratings Master Class.

The Master Class, which will be held in San Diego on Dec. 11-12, will also feature a special presentation on how Medicare Advantage Health Plan leaders, service providers, and consultants can prepare for CMS’ new “consumerism” imperative.

Here are the top 5 reasons you don’t want to miss this year’s Master Class:

1. You’ll get the latest information on CMS policy related to the Medicare Stars Program from a CMS regional medical director. Ashby Wolfe, M.D., chief medical officer for Regionals VIII, IX, X, will join via teleconference, and will review recent quality measures and update attendees on policy related to Medicare Advantage and the work the agency is involved in related to overall quality improvement and health system transformation.

2. You’ll learn from the best of the best. Sara Gardner-Smith, program manager from the 5-Star Providence Health Plan, will provide insights into how the organization has engaged their provider groups. Miranda Wilson, senior program manager-member engagement, Stars and Risk Adjustment Center of Excellence for the 5-Star Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, will discuss how in-home interviewing has helped the organization better understand the community it serves, Christina Latterell, vice president quality improvement, Alignment Healthcare, will take an in-depth look at the strategies and methods the Medicare Advantage health plan took to jump from 3 Stars to 4+ Stars in only seven months.

3. You’ll get the complete results of this year’s RISE/Engagys Survey on Healthcare Consumer Engagement and learn how your organization’s engagement approaches compare to those of your peers. Here is just a sampling from the early findings:

  • A/B testing has become more pervasive every year and is up a whopping 72% since 2016, It is now practiced by 64 percent of all 140 respondents–including 8 out of every 9 mid-to-large sized teams. This is significant, says Kathleen Ellmore, managing director of Engagys. “I have worked in the consumer world for years before coming to health care in 2005.  A/B testing, also called test and learn, is a table stakes practice in the rest of the consumer world.  I have been an evangelist for the practice in health care for the last decade and have seen very little adoption of it until the last few years.  That 72 percent jump since 2016 is exciting to see and music to my ears.”
  • Data quality and access remain the most reported impediment to success, noted by 78 percent of respondents. This highlights the need to anticipate future data needs and structure data systems accordingly, Ellmore says.
  • Population health has steadily become a more common focus area of respondents, with a 2 percent increase since 2016 (percent reporting increased from 29 percent to 37 percent).

4. You’ll discover what’s behind the new CMS imperative to see members as consumers. This spotlight session will be led by Melissa Smith, senior vice president of Sales, Marketing, Strategy & Stars, Gorman Health Group. She will go over recent developments, including CMS’ announcement that the weight of patient access and experience Star Ratings measure will increase from 1.5X to 2X for the 2019 measurement year and further increase the weights of these measures in the future.

5. You’ll hear from Dave deBronkart, best known as “E-Patient Dave,” one of the leaders of the patient engagement movement, about how health plans can become more member-driven.

To learn more about these sessions and the others planned for the 9th Annual RISE Star Ratings Master Class, click here