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CMS Investigates Humana Regarding Health Care Reform Mailings

A number of news organizations (including a Modern Healthcare article) report that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is investigating Humana regarding letters it has sent to Medicare beneficiaries about health care reform legislation.

According to CMS, the letters state (among other things) that "millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable."  CMS also reports that the letters were mailed in envelopes that state that they contain "important information about your Medicare Advantage plan - open today!"

In a letter to Humana, CMS expresses its concern that the Humana letters contain information that is "misleading and confusing to beneficiaries, represents information to beneficiaries as official communications about the Medicare Advantage program, and is potentially contrary to federal regulations and guidance for the MA and Part D programs and other federal law, including HIPAA." CMS also instructs Humana to end all such mailings and to remove any related materials from its website.

Reportedly, CMS' action was taken at the urging of Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus.

Senator Baucus' Press Release can be found here. CMS' letter to Humana can be found here.

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