Tag Archives: Diane Laurent

Milliman Advanced Risk Adjustment™ (MARA™) software tops the competition in risk scoring study

laurent-dianeMilliman’s popular Milliman Advanced Risk Adjusters™ (MARA™) software topped the competition in the latest study by the Society of Actuaries (SOA), “Accuracy of Claims-Based Risk Scoring Models.” Milliman achieved the highest overall performance among concurrent models, beating out 11 other vendors. MARA’s prospective models scored similarly well, ranking at or near the top in all four primary metrics measured.

MARA’s performance is proof of what we’ve known all along—the Milliman Advanced Risk Adjusters software is a leader in claims-based risk scoring models, and one of the most accurate tools on the market.

Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), risk scoring models play a central role in predicting or explaining healthcare expenditures. As in each of the previous SOA studies, coefficient of determination, or R2, was used as one measure of predictive accuracy and indicates how well data fit a statistical model. With an R2 of 55.4%, MARA’s concurrent diagnosis and pharmacy model (CxAdjuster) leads the competition with the highest observed R2 for uncensored costs. For costs censored at $250,000, the same model achieved the highest R2 to occur in the study, at 66.7%.

We were especially pleased that in an exploration of ensemble methods of modeling, more weight was put on the MARA model than any other. To me that indicates that giving MARA the most credence resulted in the best performing composite prediction.

MARA models are valued by clients because they produce separate risk scores for major categories of service, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency room, physician, pharmacy, and other medical care. Beyond risk scores, all MARA models provide a probability of inpatient admission and emergency room visits, plus the contribution of clinical risk drivers for more than 1,000 medical conditions.

The study, released Monday October 25, is published by the Society of Actuaries.

Federal health exchange risk adjustment model now available in Milliman Advanced Risk Technologies’ MARA software

Milliman has announced the expansion of its Milliman Advanced Risk Adjusters (MARA) software to include greater flexibility for calculating risk scores in and outside of health exchanges. The latest release includes the federal risk adjustment model developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for use in the individual and small group marketplaces starting in 2014. The complex HHS-HCC model set, which employs the hierarchical condition category (HCC) grouping logic, requires specific diagnosis and demographic handling to calculate risk scores.

“Our latest product release is a testament to our commitment to provide healthcare organizations with on-demand risk scoring solutions in support of their reform initiatives,” said Diane Laurent, MARA’s managing director.

The HHS-HCC risk adjustment model is provided in a platform-independent software package that is easy to install in any environment. Clients who wish to tightly integrate the processing engine receive automated processing interface support. Milliman’s MARA product is proven technology with analytical support available from Milliman’s consulting actuaries and other industry experts.

“The MARA tools give the industry on-demand processing of metallic-level and cost-sharing reduction (CSR) risk scores, with completely transparent scoring. Adding the HHS-HCC risk adjustment model means plans and others have another powerful tool for understanding and managing risk in their own technical environments,” added Hans Leida, Milliman principal and consulting actuary.

In addition to the HHS-HCC risk adjustment model, MARA includes a library of more comprehensive, higher-performing risk adjustment tools that are widely deployed in solutions offered by leading healthcare technology providers, including business intelligence, care workflow solutions, and electronic medical records (EMR) vendors. MARA adds insight for population health activities in accountable care organizations (ACOs), primary care medical home programs, and other health-based budgeting, pricing, and risk-based performance measurement programs.

For more information, go to www.millimanriskadjustment.com.

Risk adjustment and the power of four

Risk adjustment models have been extensively used for renewal underwriting in group health markets. The typical risk adjuster output offers a single risk score that represents an individual’s overall health status risk. But segregating risk by service category better represents the differences in utilization and cost within each component, and is an important aspect in actuarial pricing. Inpatient, outpatient, physician, and pharmaceutical services possess different characteristics with respect to the utilization frequency, cost severity, speed of claim payment, and underlying trends.

This article presents the results of two simulation studies that indicate that separating the risk by service category significantly improves profitability.

What kind of risk adjustment systems are necessary for health insurance exchanges?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) mandates that states establish one or more health insurance exchanges by January 2014. Under this business paradigm, private health insurance carriers will compete on price and quality in order to attract this new pool of insured consumers. People who have previously been under- or uninsured may find exchanges an attractive option when purchasing health insurance. But claim experience, including cost and utilization patterns, of the under- and uninsured population are mostly unknown to private health insurers at this time. This paper by Rong Yi and Diane Laurent examines the adequacy of current risk adjustment systems when applied to a wholly new type of enrollment—the “all-population risk pool”—and offers considerations and explores options for exchange designers.