Too soon to tell how Medicare Advantage changes will affect revenue, Cigna CEO says

Proposed Medicare Advantage plan rates introduced by CMS could have some impacts on revenue, but it's too early to see the full scope, Cigna CEO David Cordani told investors on a Feb. 3 call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. 

"The initial rate letter that came out does have lower, or somewhat anemic revenue," Mr. Cordani said. "We'll await the final rate letter that comes forward relative to that. Having said that, I think it's a little bit early to presuppose what 2024 growth outlook may look like because you compete on a relative basis." 

CMS published an advance notice Feb. 1 proposing a small revenue bump of 1.03 percent on average for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans in 2024 as part of a slate of potential risk adjustment and star ratings changes. 

Mr. Cordani told investors the rule should not have an impact on the company's outlook overall, with Medicare Advantage representing less than 5 percent of the company's portfolio. 

"Any dislocation in 2024, we deem to be manageable with the strong portfolio that we have in front of us." 

Mr. Cordani also addressed tougher auditing standards implemented by CMS on the call. He said the company was pleased the agency chose not to extrapolate tougher audits past 2018 contracts, but he expressed some concern about the elimination of the fee-for-service adjuster. 

"So a bit of a fluid environment, but we see progress relative to the lack of extrapolation beyond 2018, and we see some open questions for the industry at large that still remain, and we will collaborate with CMS to get more visibility on that over the near term," Mr. Cordani said. 

Other payer execs addressed the rulings in investor calls this week. Humana CEO Bruce Broussard told investors during a Feb. 1 call the payer is "considering all our options to address or challenge" the elimination of the FFS adjuster.

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