WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) issued the following joint statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Programs for 2018:
“We are encouraged the Trump Administration took steps to roll back some of the Obama Administration’s flawed payment policies that would have negatively impacted nearly 18 million seniors. We are also pleased that HHS Secretary Price recognized the importance of protecting access to Medicare Advantage, including for patients suffering from kidney disease—a bipartisan priority on our Committee. We look forward to working with the new Administration on policies that promote innovation and competition, improve the quality and coordination of care, and deliver our seniors flexibility and choice in Medicare.”
On February 1, 2017, CMS issued an Advanced Notice and Draft Call Letter proposing changes to the MA and Part D programs’ payments and policies for Calendar Year 2018. On March 3, 2017, the Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to Dr. Tom Price, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, expressing concerns about several proposed changes left over from the Obama Administration and encouraging the Administration to work with Congress on a number of other policies that will encourage plan innovation to improve care and ensure continued access to Medicare benefits throughout the MA program. In the Final Notice and Call Letter, CMS adequately addressed the Committee’s concerns regarding payment changes to employer retiree coverage and use of encounter data. They also reversed course on a projected 8 percent cut to plans servicing End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) beneficiaries.