Keeping Medicare website external content current still low priority for many websites

HealthMetrix Research’s recent MedicareWebWatch findings reveal that Medicare Advantage plans are often not diligent on posting current  external content.  As case in point, only 25 websites from 150+ sites included in the 2016 MedicareWebWatch mapping project provide details about Medicare “national coverage determinations”.  NCDs are not required to be posted under the current CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines, however, they are informative communications about Medicare coverage for newly-approved diagnostic, treatment, or prevention services.

Congratulations to the only Medicare plan websites below where the two recent 2016 NCDs were found posted.

Central HP                Essence
HealthPlus           MCSUCare

Below are the two recent 2016 NCDs with links to the respective CMS.gov pages.

Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure Therapy
Effective February 8, 2016

Stem Cell Transplantation
Effective January 27, 2016

 

Kaiser Permanente Retains #1 Rated Medicare Website Bragging Rights

Congratulations to Kaiser Permanente and its Medicare plan website, Medicare.KaiserPermante.org, for scoring the top rating among 156 Medicare plan websites surveyed recently by HealthMetrix Research Inc.  This is the fifth year since 2009 that Medicare.KaiserPermante.org has been recognized as the overall top Medicare website.   The annual independent MedicareWebWatch benchmark survey tracked 50 common and advanced features across four categories — content, member connectivity, design, transparency.   HealthMetrix Research recognized a total of 10 “benchmark” and 25 “distinguished” Medicare plan websites in a February 22 PRNewswire release.  See additional details about MedicareWebWatch website certification at – www.MedicareWebWatch.com

Spring is Ideal Time to Develop 2017 Website Build-out Strategy

HealthMetrix Research President Alan Mittermaier has an extensive background from advising over 60 Medicare Advantage sponsors and research organizations including Mathematica Policy Research, National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Research Triangle International. Mr. Mittermaier also offers his unique perspective as a Medicare Advantage plan enrollee.  No other user knows more about Medicare plan website content, connectivity, design and transparency.

Each webinar accommodates up to 20 attendees and can be recorded for your organization’s internal use. Note: The registration fee ($750) can be credited towards the 2016 MedicareWebWatch certification licensing fee.  Click here to view webinar dates/times and to register today!

HealthMetrix Research Selects Best-of-Breed Medicare Advantage Websites for 2016 MedicareWebWatch National Certification

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — HealthMetrix Research Inc., an independent research firm, announces the selection of 35 Medicare Advantage plan websites for MedicareWebWatch national certification.  MedicareWebWatch certification recognizes excellence in Medicare plan website content, member connectivity, design and transparency.  Ten “benchmark” websites and 25 “distinguished” websites were selected from 156 Medicare Advantage websites after comprehensive site reviews.

Among the 2016 certified websites, four are recognized also for achieving highest accessibility scores.  These sites offer the latest user-friendly technology to allow disabled visitors to fully access website content.  Another five websites are noted for providing transparency related to advanced content and privacy disclosure.  Continue to see 2016 benchmark and distinguished websites...

Register for National Council on Aging BenefitsCheckUp® Webinar on Co-Branding with Medicare Advantage Plans

HealthMetrix Research and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) will host webinars June 16, 17, 18, 22 featuring the NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp® website.  BenefitsCheckUp® is the leading national website assisting older adults with navigating the myriad of assistance programs available for health care, prescription drugs, food, housing, utilities, legal assistance.

During each one-hour webinar, Marlene Schneider – NCOA Vice President for Decision Support Services – will demonstrate how Medicare Advantage plans including Anthem/CareMore, Aetna/Coventry, Kaiser Permanente, United HealthCare leverage their NCOA co-branding sponsorships to offer BenefitsCheckUp® to members and caregivers via member-only portals and call centers.

In addition to identifying over 2,500 available federal, state and private organization benefit programs, BenefitsCheckUp® is one of the only CMS/SSA-approved entities offering Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) real-time screening and application acceptance for Part D “Extra Help” directly with the Social Security Administration.  BenefitsCheckUp® processes thousands of LIS applications monthly and assists LIS applicants and other dual-eligibles with screening and enrollment in the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and the Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (LINET) program, designed to eliminate gaps in coverage for low-income individuals transitioning to Medicare Part D drug coverage.

This is an exceptional “win-win” resource that benefits both your organization and the Medicare beneficiaries you serve.
To register your organization for this free webinar, visit  www.MedicareWebWatch.com.

Use MedicareWebWatch Research to Update 2016 Website Build-out Strategies

Join Alan Mittermaier for a one-hour consultation webinar highlighting the 2015 MedicareWebWatch website findings along with MedicareWebWatch certification details for your organization. Included are build-out insights for how your organization’s 2016 Medicare Advantage website can become more relevant and ready to meet the growing expectations of plan members, age-ins and caregivers. The webinar also covers best practices from industry-leading websites recognized for “Excellence in Website Content, Connectivity, Design and Transparency”.

HealthMetrix Research President Alan Mittermaier has an extensive background from advising over 60 Medicare Advantage sponsors and research organizations including Mathematica Policy Research, National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Research Triangle International. Mr. Mittermaier also offers his unique perspective as a recent Medicare Advantage plan enrollee.

Each webinar will accommodate up to 20 attendees and will be recorded for your organization’s internal use. Note: The registration fee ($500) can be credited towards the 2015 MedicareWebWatch certification licensing fee.  Click here to view webinar dates/times and to register today!

Tufts Medicare Preferred Sets Benchmark for 2015 Star Ratings Transparency

Congratulations Tufts Health Plan and its Medicare Preferred website upon setting the transparency standard that every Medicare Advantage plan website would be well-served to follow.  Tufts Medicare Preferred is the only website (among 168 websites surveyed) to voluntarily disclose its 2015 Star Ratings for each of the health plan rating categories (5) and the drug plan rating categories (4) that comprise the overall ratings for both (see below).  The additional disclosure increases the likelihood that plan members and prospects will make informed choices when weighing enrollment choices.

* * * * *

Tufts Medicare HMO Plans – Health Plan Star Ratings

Overall Score: ✰✰✰✰✰

For plans covering health services, the overall score for quality of those services covers 45 different topics in 5 categories:

  • Staying Healthy (screenings, tests, and vaccines): ✰✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how often members got various screening tests, vaccines, and other check-ups that help them stay healthy.
  • Managing Chronic (long-term) Conditions: ✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how often members with different conditions received certain tests and treatments to help them manage their conditions.
  • Member Experience with Health Plan: ✰✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how members rated their satisfaction with the plan.
  • Member Complaints, Problems Getting Services, and Improvements in the Health Plan’s Performance: ✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how often Medicare found problems with the plan and how often members filed complaints against the plan and chose to leave the plan. Includes how much the plan’s performance has improved (if at all) over the last two years.
  • Health Plan Customer Service: ✰✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how well the plan handles calls from members, makes decisions about member appeals for health coverage, and handles new enrollment requests in a timely way.

Tufts Medicare HMO Plans – Prescription Drug Plan Star Ratings

Overall Score: ✰✰✰✰½

For plans covering drug services, the overall score for quality of those services covers 18 different topics in 4 categories:

  • Drug Plan Customer Service: ✰✰

    • Includes how well the plan handles calls from members, makes decisions about member appeals for drug coverage, and handles new enrollment requests in a timely way.
  • Member Complaints, Problems Getting Services and Improvements in the Drug Plan’s Peformance: ✰✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how often Medicare found problems with the plan and how often members filed complaints against the plan and choose to leave the plan. Includes how much the plan’s performance has improved (if at all) over the last two years.
  • Member Experience with the Drug Plan: ✰✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how members rated their satisfaction with the plan.
  • Drug Safety and Accuracy of Drug Pricing: ✰✰✰✰

    • Includes how well the plan provides accurate pricing information for the Medicare website. Includes information on how often members with certain medical conditions get prescription drugs that are considered safer and clinically recommended for their condition. Includes information on whether members are taking certain medications as directed.

For plans covering both medical & drug services, the overall score for quality of those services covers all of the 9 categories listed above.