Medicare Advantage to grow 10%, CMS official predicts

A top Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official predicted that the Medicare Advantage program will grow by at least 10 percent, reported CQ HealthBeat. "Despite the rhetoric you hear that the Affordable Care Act has killed the private plan side of Medicare, that's contrary to the truth," Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator and director of the CMS Center for Medicare, told the National Medicaid Congress. "Over the last several years, the program has grown by about 10 percent a year," he said. "I personally predict it's going to continue to grow for the next several years at that same trend rate."

Blum added that CMS is testing different methods to improve quality of the plans to help make the Medicare Advantage program as strong as the Medicare fee-for-service plan. "An overall message I want to leave folks with is CMS is not just focused on the traditional fee-for-service program for quality improvements and cost savings," he said. "We have to be focused on the private side of Medicare given that we expect to see the vast majority of growth going to that side of the program." Article