CMS’ Dashboards put you in the driver’s seat

Michelle Snyder, Deputy Chief Operating Officer

Want to know the percentage of people who have a Medicare Advantage plan compared to all people with Medicare in Maryland from 2007 to 2011? Or perhaps the top 10 Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes for services provided in 2008? You can find answers to these types of questions using the newly launched Medicare Enrollment Dashboard and Part B Physician/Supplier Dashboard. They expand our current dashboard program that already includes the Part D Prescription Drug Benefit data set and the Medicare Inpatient Hospital data set.

The CMS Dashboard program lets you find and sort Medicare data your way. These interactive tools let you sort data by numerous variables, such as by state, year, type of beneficiary, or a combination of variables, making it easier to spot emerging trends in spending and service utilization.

The dashboards give the public a clearer and better understanding of our programs by simplifying our data and making it more accessible. It’s part of our continuing efforts to follow the open government principles of transparency, participation and collaboration. We hope these tools will encourage researchers and policymakers to ask and get answers to the questions that help improve our nation’s health care delivery and payment systems.

Be sure to bookmark the CMS Dashboard web page for future reference.

More Americans Accessing Improved Medicare Coverage

By Don Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Millions of Americans are enjoying improved Medicare coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act. More people are getting preventive services to keep them healthy, and people with high prescription drug costs are seeing the coverage gap“donut hole” starting to close. Here are the latest numbers from the past few months:

  • July:
    • Through the end of July, 1.28 million Americans with Medicare have received discounts on brand name drugs in the Medicare Part D coverage gap — up from 899,000 through the end of June and 478,000 through the end of May.
    • These discounts have saved seniors and people with disabilities a total of$660 million, including $199 million in July alone!

For state-by-state information on the number of people who are benefiting from this discount in 2011, visit this page.

  • August:
    • Through the end of August, over 18.9 million people with Original Medicare, or 55.6 percent, have received one or more free preventive services.
    • During the same time period, over 1.2 million Americans with Original Medicare have taken advantage of Medicare’s new free Annual Wellness Visit, up from 1.06 million in July.

For state-by-state information on the numbers of people who are utilizing preventive services in 2011, visit this page.Over the coming years, provisions of the Affordable Care Act will help close the coverage gap completely. Here is a sense of what people with Medicare can look forward to:

  • 2013: Paying less and less for your brand-name Part D prescription drugs in the coverage gap.
  • 2020: The coverage gap will be closed, meaning there will be no more “donut hole,” and people with Medicare will pay only 25% of the costs of their drugs until they reach the yearly out-of-pocket spending limit.
The chart below shows what people with Medicare prescription coverage will pay over time:
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Over Time chart showing Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Over Time
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