Heeding the Administrator’s Call: Opportunities to Improve Supplemental Benefit Data

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are able to offer additional benefits over the benefits all Medicare beneficiaries receive – called supplemental benefits. These supplemental benefits most typically take the form of vision, dental, hearing, and medical transportation services, but the types of benefits offered are evolving rapidly to include things like in-home support services or personal care, food, and help paying utility bills. Improving data available on these supplemental benefits in MA is clearly on the minds of officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In March 2023, just a few months after the CMS Administrator posed these questions, CMS issued the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) notice about proposed new data collection requirements for supplemental benefits. CMS is proposing to collect data from MA organizations on the specific benefits they offer, the number of members who use the benefit, how often they use the benefit, and how much money the plan spends on members who use the benefit. Building on our years-long work tracking these benefits, ATI and our partners at the Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA) believe these efforts to enhance data collection will improve our ability to assess their value.

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