Study: CMS Star-Rating System for MA Plans Helps Boost Enrollment
CMS' star-rating system for Medicare Advantage plans has helped boost enrollment rates in the plans, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.
Rating System Details
The rating system uses data from surveys and other effectiveness measures to determine the quality of the health plans, which are a popular alternative to traditional fee-for-service Medicare policies.
The system was implemented in 2011 as part of a broader effort under the Affordable Care Act to incentivize quality health care systems, coverage plans, physicians and hospitals, according to "Capsules."
For the study, researchers affiliated with CMS surveyed about 1.3 million Medicare beneficiaries. They found that a one-star higher ranking correlated with a 9.5 percentage point increase in the likelihood that the beneficiaries would enroll in the plans.
Meanwhile, the researchers noted that the ratings-to-enrollment ratio diminished -- but did not disappear -- for certain groups, including rural, low-income and black communities.
William Shrank, a co-author of the study, said the findings help "confirm that by providing beneficiaries with better information, by empowering them, they're making better decisions."However, Shrank and his colleagues cautioned that beneficiaries should consider each plan holistically. "Consumers have a bunch of things to look at," Shrank said, adding, "Quality should be an important consideration, but it isn't the only consideration" (Rao, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 1/15). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.