The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced updates to what is covered under Medicare Advantage plans, with a specific focus on addressing social and environmental health factors and increasing competition among plans.
The major change announced involves increasing coverage and flexibility to better tailor benefits to patients’ needs—especially those with chronic conditions. While in previous years Medicare Advantage plans only covered services that directly prevented or treated a patient’s condition, it is now beginning to expand coverage to address social and environmental factors that may have a direct impact on one’s health. For example, an updated plan could now cover home air filters or carpet shampooing for patients with asthma, or a grocery delivery service providing produce and other heart-healthy food to patients with heart conditions.
Other key updates included in the agency’s announcement:
In recent years, these private plans have increased to account for 13 percent of skilled nursing facilities’ (SNFs) revenue, as noted by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. Read CMS’ full announcement about the updates.
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