USAging Submits Comments to CMS on Medicare Advantagecomments in response to CMS's Request for Information (RFI) on aspects of the Medicare Advantage program. With the ever-expanding role of AAAs and the Aging Network in care delivery and health outcomes, we submitted comments focused on our network's role in the provision of social care services through MA and SSBCI in particular.
USAging's response to the RFI included the following recommendations:
- Promoting, strengthening and funding AAAs and community-based care experts when adapting the health care system to support the social determinants of health. Specifically, CMS should invest in the Aging Network's ability to make even greater contributions to SDOH-informed health care in MA. Additionally, informing CMS to keep the limitations of technology deployed to support health care referrals to social care in mind.
- Leveraging MA supplemental benefits through contract partnerships with AAAs to encourage wider development of Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI). AAAs are experts at forming and sustaining networks—they already lead local networks of providers as part of their congressional designation as AAAs—and these networks are an effective way to meet the MA plans' service needs with one contract. Our comments highlight how the overall growth in AAA and health care contracting is critical to the ultimate success of SDOH-addressing services in MA.
- Improving MA plans' ability to offer nutrition-focused supplemental benefits and urging CMS to encourage MA plans to expand their contracting with aging and disability CBOs to provide evidence-based health and wellness programs. We would like to see CMS extend (and compensate) opportunities for health prevention (e.g., physical activity) and chronic-disease self-management outside the clinical environment through proven programs that enable independence, self-sufficiency and successfully address disease prevention/management.