Coalition calls possible legislation seeking delay until 2023 “untenable and unnecessary”
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, responded today to potential forthcoming legislation aimed at delaying Hospice Benefit Provisions in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model until 2023.
BMA announced its strong support for the hospice demonstration project in February, saying that it “opens up opportunities to explore more continuous care for beneficiaries accustomed to a team of providers, even as they elect hospice care.” BMA also partnered with LeadingAge to pen a joint column noting that the demonstration project “can make significant strides towards a more fully integrated system designed around older adults’ needs.”
“For too long, beneficiaries who elect hospice have been denied the opportunity to experience the coordinated, team-based care found in Medicare Advantage. We believe that Medicare Advantage has unique tools at its disposal to help hospice patients live comfortably and with dignity at the end of life. We expect that the demonstration model will offer insights on the inclusion of hospice services in Medicare Advantage and look forward to the forthcoming start in January 2021.” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “Recognizing the unprecedented onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Better Medicare Alliance joined other supporters of the demonstration project to request a brief delay earlier this year so as to ensure the best chance of success. The fact is that the demonstration project has moved forward and a number of Medicare Advantage plans across geographic regions are set to participate in the model. It is now apparent that any delays would be untenable and unnecessary. We urge an on-time start to this promising demonstration project and are hopeful that CMMI will release an opportunity for other Medicare Advantage plans to be able to offer these benefits to their members starting in 2022.”