United States of Care provided feedback to Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) on their discussion draft legislation which would enhance waiver authority in Medicare Advantage.
Thank you for the opportunity to offer feedback on your discussion draft regarding providing increased Medicare Advantage (MA) flexibilities to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Allowing flexibility, with proper consumer protections, permits Medicare Advantage Organizations
(MAOs) to design innovative benefits and take on risk. This proposal would build upon the new flexibilities provided in the Chronic Care and Better Budget Acts as well as the Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) demonstrations being conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations (CMMI). The waiver authority for the Secretary, as proposed, does indeed create a framework to allow for more flexibility and innovation. As we have seen in other public programs such as Medicaid, the use of waivers can lead to delivery system transformations which improve outcomes and lower costs.