Payer Roundup—CMS gets its new Medicare cards out 3 months early

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services completed the distribution of new Medicare cards three months ahead of its deadline. (Medicare.gov)

CMS gets its new Medicare cards out 3 months early

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services completed the distribution of new Medicare cards three months ahead of its deadline.

Over the past nine months, CMS sent new cards to more than 61 million people with Medicare across all U.S. states and territories, officials said. The new cards, which each have a unique, randomly assigned Medicare number known as a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of recipients' Social Security numbers, are meant to help protect their personal identity and reduce fraud and abuse.

Congress set a deadline of April 2019 to replace the old cards as part of the legislation passed under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015. (Release)

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Massachusetts Medicaid patients will be asked to rate their doctors

Following in the footsteps of programs that have asked privately insured patients to give their opinion of their experiences, Massachusetts officials will begin asking Medicaid recipients to rate their medical providers.

The Boston Globe reported that nearly 250,000 low-income and disabled patients will be asked questions such as whether they or their children were able to get appointments when they needed them, and whether doctors and office staff communicated respectfully. (The Boston Globe)

Wisconsin Governor faces Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he will push forward with Medicaid expansion in his state even as he said he would give up on another plan that would dissolve the state's economic development agency, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Evers said expansion essential because it would provide insurance to 76,000 more people and save the state $280 million over two years. Republicans have said they believe the plan would drive up costs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

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