The accuracy of Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents is an important requirement for all health plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) takes errors in these documents very seriously and penalties are given to health plans that distribute documents with errors.
CMS recently announced changes to the distribution of these documents. ANOCs and EOCs have been uncoupled, and electronic sharing of EOCs is now allowed. CMS has also reiterated the importance of distributing these documents on time and in compliance.
Below are four ways that health plans can reduce or eliminate errors in their ANOC and EOC documents and ensure compliance with CMS:
1. Use the most recent model documents provided by CMS
While some health plans may be tempted to create their 2019 materials by making updates to their 2018 templates to avoid having to build the materials from scratch, doing so is extremely risky. With the ANOCs numbering between 8-20 pages, and the EOC documents ranging between 120-250 pages, thousands of data points must be updated. If just one data point is missed, your health plan is out of compliance.
There are a number of reasons health plans should use the most current model documents to create their ANOCs and EOCs, including a decreased risk of errors and faster approval times. CodySoft® products and CodyPrint® services can also help streamline these processes and ensure that your documents are distributed on time and in compliance.
2. Have a fresh set of eyes reviewing documents
The Annual Election Period (AEP) season is taxing on health plan resources and there is a risk that the compliance department overlook in the ANOC and EOC documents. If these errors remain in the final documents, members may alert CMS of the inaccuracies and the health plan will be penalized. CMS takes a much more lenient approach with health plans that self-report errors and send mandatory errata sheets before errors are identified and reported.
Most health plans can use a few extra sets of eyes to review final materials to ensure accuracy. Cody’s Document Accuracy Assessment services can identify inconsistencies and errors in your plan documents that could negatively impact members and cause CMS to take action against your plan. This service allows you time to self-report these errors before CMS’s Oct. 31 deadline for self-reporting.
3. Pick the right translation company
Translation of member materials into additional languages can introduce other errors into documents. Typically, the health plan provides the translation company with an English document to translate, and the vendor sends the translated document back to the health plan. This conventional method of managing translations can unnecessarily extend the production timeline and lead to a greater potential for errors in the material.
Select a translation firm with great care. Look for a vendor that can create and revise English and Spanish documents in parallel to reduce the risk of errors and speed up the production timeline. Cody’s Translation Services utilizes this parallel pathway to simplify translations and reduce the risk of errors in ANOC and EOC documents.
4. Use software specifically designed for health plans
When it comes to creating required member materials, many health plans are still manually tracking projects using spreadsheets, email, or a generic out-of-the-box project management tool. None of these methods address a health plan’s unique needs. These manual processes leave much of the work to already over-taxed resources that may overlook deadlines or lose track of documents’ status on the production timeline.
There are software tools that address the unique needs of health plans during the document creation process. Tools like CodySoft®’s Collateral Management Module® and Regulatory Analyzer® improve visibility, increase efficiencies and reduce the risk of errors to ensure that documents are created on time and in compliance.