Study: Medicare quality ratings may be ‘counterproductive’

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For example, the paper says, CMS actually measured Medicare Advantage plans in late 2010 and early 2011, then published the star ratings so seniors could choose their plans in 2012, and it will award bonuses to five-star plans in 2013. The delays make it hard for Medicare Advantage plans to adjust to CMS’s criteria, the report argues.

President Obama’s healthcare law sought to link payments to star ratings in several ways, including a direct bonus to plans with four or five stars. CMS opted instead to use a demonstration program that extends bonuses to three-star plans, among other differences.

The Government Accountability Office said in March that CMS should cancel the demonstration program.