The Root Cause Coalition Issues Public Comment on Changes to Medicare Advantage

WASHINGTON, DC – The Root Cause Coalition issued a letter of public comment on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s (CMS) Advance Notice of Methodological Changes for Calendar Year 2019 for Medicare Advantage (MA) Capitation Rates, Part C and Part D Payment Policies and 2019 draft Call Letter.

The letter applauds a proposed change that would enable insurers to use Medicare dollars for Health-Related Supplemental Benefits in MA plans. This increased flexibility will allow insurers to address the unmet needs of the MA population, improving individual health and well-being while driving down overall healthcare costs.

Urging CMS to expand services that address the root causes of poor health, the letter provides examples of successful programs and initiatives that tackle key social determinants such as nutrition, employment and housing insecurity.

“We strongly urge you to provide flexibility for MA plans to include programs and initiatives that address the underlying causes of poor health outcomes,” writes Barbara Petee, Executive Director of The Root Cause Coalition. “Assistance in obtaining proper nutrition, safe housing and necessary transportation—among other programming—can help improve individual well-being, prevent unnecessary healthcare costs and lower the cost burden on taxpayers.”

Comprised of more than 45 of the nation’s leading health systems, foundations, community nonprofits, businesses and health insurers, The Root Cause Coalition offers a unique perspective on the administration and delivery of healthcare in America—one that cuts across sectors, services and state lines. The Coalition appreciates the opportunity to lend the collective expertise of its membership to this important question of public policy.

Read the original notice from CMS.

About The Root Cause Coalition

Established in 2015, The Root Cause Coalition is a non-profit, member-driven organization comprised of more than 45 leading health systems, hospital associations, foundations, businesses, national and community nonprofits, health insurers, academic institutions and policy centers. The Coalition works to achieve health equity through cross-sector collaboration in advocacy, education and research. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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