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Medicare Advantage fee-for-service growth estimated at 3.3%

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued the 2014 rate announcement and final call letter for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit programs. The final estimate of the combined effect of the Medicare Advantage growth percentage and the fee-for-service growth percentage is 3.3%. These growth rates assume a 0% change for the 2014 physician fee schedule by taking into account the likely Congressional override of the schedule physician payment reduction. CMS will continue implementation of payment based on quality in Medicare Advantage. Over the last year, the number of four and five star plans has increased, with 127 such plans in Medicare Advantage in 2013, 21 more than the prior year.