Analyses Related to Medicare Advantage and Part D Contract Star Ratings

Female doctor showing a tablet to a male patient in exam room, photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracted with the RAND Corporation to provide analyses to support Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Contract Star Ratings. Under this contract, RAND is:

  • conducting analyses to further enhance the Star Ratings system
  • assisting with the annual calculation of MA and Part D Contract Star Ratings

As part of this work, RAND performs simulations and other analyses to examine aspects of the Star Ratings system, such as methods for setting measure thresholds, approaches for assigning measure weights, evaluating variation and trends in performance and reliability of measures, and understanding the effects of social risk factors on performance.

RAND Technical Expert Panel

RAND convened a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to gather input on analyses that could be conducted to further enhance the MA and Part D Star Ratings program. The TEP is composed of a diverse group of individuals with expertise across a wide range of disciplines including quality measurement, risk adjustment, statistical methods, and delivery of health care to Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA and Part D plans. The first TEP meeting was held May 31, 2018 in Washington D.C. The summary of this meeting and presentation shared with the TEP are available under the Meeting Materials section of this webpage. The TEP is expected to meet twice per year until August 2019 at which time the period of performance of the RAND contract ends.

The TEP will not and does not replace the existing CMS mechanisms to obtain broad stakeholder input regarding enhancements to the Star Ratings program, namely the annual Advance Notice/Rate Announcement and rulemaking processes.

Selected Publications

RAND has produced several publications resulting from analyses it has conducted in support of this project.

  • Haviland, AM, CL Damberg, M Mathews, SM Paddock, and MN Elliott. Shifting From Passive Quality Reporting to Active Nudging to Influence Consumer Choice of Health Plan. Medical Care Research and Review (in press).
  • Sorbero, ME, SM Paddock, CL Damberg, A Haas, and MN Elliott. Impact of Adjusting for Socioeconomic Factors on Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Star Ratings. American Journal of Managed Care (in press).
  • Timbie, JW, A Bogart, CL Damberg, MN Elliott, A Haas, SJ Gaillot, EH Goldstein, SM Paddock. Medicare Advantage and Fee-for-Service Performance on Clinical Quality and Patient Experience Measures: Comparisons from Three Large States. Health Services Research. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12787. November 12, 2017.

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