The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced late last week that they are expanding their Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) project (from Modern Healthcare)
Insurers in 25 states will be able to apply for the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model in 2019, the CMS announced Wednesday. The program is available to insurers in 10 states in 2018.
Additionally, the federal government is tweaking the model to allow Chronic Conditions Special Needs Plans to participate, and allow participants to propose methods for identifying enrollees with different chronic conditions than those previously allowed by the CMS, such as lower back pain, chronic kidney disease, obesity, asthma or tobacco use.
The early results on the initial VBID project are not in yet. The major insurers involved are primarily trying to lower the costs of chronic care maintenance medications or lowering the costs of front end medical services.
The idea is to encourage people to use more low cost and effective services while making it comparatively more expensive and less likely for people to use low effectiveness services. This is an experiment that is worthwhile doing and it seems like it will be rolling out to enough areas that there will be a sufficiently wide evidence base to make reasonable judgements about benefit design by 2020.