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  • CMS Gives Medicare Advantage Plans a Raise  Modern Healthcare by Virgil Dickson The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule Monday giving Medicare Advantage plans a 3.4 percent pay hike in 2019. That's well above the 1.84 percent bump the agency initially proposed and higher that the 2.95% increase for 2018. CMS is also moving forward with plans to increase the use of encounter data to determine risk scores for plans. As a result of the finalized rule, 75 percent of Medicare Advantage risk scores will be based on traditional fee-for-service data, and 25 percent based on encounter data.
  • Virginia Is Close to Expanding Medicaid After Years of Republican Opposition  New York Times by Trip Gabriel As Gov. Ralph Northam orders the House and Senate back to the capital on Wednesday for a special session, what remains of Republican opposition to Medicaid expansion appears to be cracking. Two Republican state senators said this week they would accept some form of broader Medicaid benefits, as provided under the Affordable Care Act — enough votes to carry the day on an issue that is widely popular in state polls. Although the two Republican senators' embrace of expansion seem to promise a speedy resolution, there are enough differences in the proposals that a deal could founder.

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