Law­mak­ers urge CMS to in­crease Puerto Rico’s Medi­care Ad­van­tage rates

Modern Healthcare - - Regional News -

Sev­eral con­gres­sional law­mak­ers asked the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to ad­dress a long-time dis­par­ity in Medi­care re­im­burse­ment rates for Puerto Rico that has af­fected res­i­dents’ ac­cess to care.

Nearly 20% of the is­land’s pop­u­la­tion, or 580,000 peo­ple, are on Medi­care Ad­van­tage plans. Law­mak­ers hope the CMS will boost Puerto Rico’s Ad­van­tage rates for 2019 this spring. Puerto Rico’s Medi­care Ad­van­tage re­im­burse­ment rate is 43% below the na­tional av­er­age and 26% below that of its neigh­bor, the U.S. Vir­gin Is­lands, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter from Puerto Rico Res­i­dent Com­mis­sioner Jen­nif­fer González-Colón, Rep. José Ser­rano (D-N.Y.) and 23 other law­mak­ers to HHS Sec­re­tary Alex Azar.

In Fe­bru­ary, the CMS re­leased a pro­posed pay no­tice that would in­crease the over­all base­line Medi­care Ad­van­tage rates by 1.84%.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the re­cently is­sued draft no­tice does not come close to ad­dress­ing this long-stand­ing dis­par­ity— it leaves pay­ment rates at over 40% less than main­land rates,” the let­ter said.

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