CMS has released its 2018 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter. CMS estimates that plan revenues will increase by 0.45 percent in 2018; when coding acuity is considered, plans can expect a total revenue change of 2.95 percent. CMS also adopted provisions intended to reduce opioid misuse under Medicare Part D, among other reimbursement methodology and policy changes.

Looking forward, CMS is inviting comments on ways to provide MA organizations and Part D plan sponsors with “flexibility to develop and implement innovative approaches for providing Medicare benefits to enrollees and empowering enrollees.” Specifically, CMS seeks ideas for policy and procedural changes in such areas as: benefit design; operational or network composition flexibility; supporting the doctor-patient relationship in care delivery; facilitating individual preferences; plan payment, monitoring, and measurement; how and when CMS issues regulations and policies; and how CMS can simplify rules and policies for beneficiaries, providers and plans. Responses to the request for information are due April 24, 2017.