Legislation would up Medicare Advantage transparency standards

A bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation that would require Medicare Advantage plans to report more encounter data. 

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Catherine Cortez Masto, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Cassidy, MD, introduced the Encounter Data Enhancement Act Nov. 15, according to a news release from Ms. Cortez Masto's office. 

The legislation would require plans to report how much they pay for patient services and how much beneficiaries paid out of pocket for services. Plans are required to report encounter data, but this data can be incomplete, the senators said in the news release. 

Increased transparency standards would provide researchers a clearer understanding of what MA beneficiaries are paying out of pocket for certain services and increase federal oversight of Medicare dollars. 

"American taxpayers are paying hundreds of billions of dollars for seniors to use Medicare Advantage plans, but the federal government still doesn't know how much these plans are paying for patient services and how much patients are being forced to pay out-of-pocket," Ms. Cortez Masto said in the news release. 

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