As efforts to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 continue to evolve, the Trump administration on March 30 issued a series of new flexibilities aimed at increasing hospital and provider capacity. At the same time, CMS provided some respite to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans dealing with the crisis by suspending audit and quality reporting activities so that plans and states can focus on providing care to the increasing number of beneficiaries affected by the new coronavirus. While those changes will enable CMS to issue star quality ratings for 2021, the potential impact of COVID-19 on payment rates for next year remained unclear.
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