On March 30, 2009, CMS issued its annual “Call Letter” for potential sponsors of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) in 2010. In announcing the Call Letter, CMS stated that it is taking steps to ensure that MA plan cost-sharing frameworks do not expose sicker beneficiaries to excessive out-of-pocket charges. MA organizations also are being directed to streamline their plan offerings to facilitate beneficiary plan selection. PDP sponsors also will be required to provide more information to beneficiaries on their utilization management criteria and their policies on drugs during the coverage gap. MA and PDP sponsors will be asked to conduct audits on the data provided to CMS about the operation of their plans, and existing program compliance audits will be more targeted, data-driven, and risk-based.  In addition, on April 6, 2009, CMS announced the 2010 Medicare Advantage growth trend and 2010 payment policies for MA and PDP organizations . CMS notes that for the first time, CMS will make a “coding pattern differences adjustment” to Medicare Advantage risk scores, reducing Medicare Advantage payment rates in 2010 to account for differences in disease coding patterns between MA organizations and the original Medicare program (Parts A and B). The adjustment will be applied as a uniform 3.41 percentage reduction to all Medicare Advantage plans’ Part C risk scores in 2010.