The Biggest Value is Getting the Voice of the Member: An Exploration of Consumer Advisory Councils within Medicare-Medicaid Plans Participating in the Financial Alignment Initiative

Rachel Isaacson
Leena Sharma
Marc Cohen
Renée Markus Hodin
January 2019

Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs) in states participating in the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Initiative (FAI) capitated model demonstrations are required to create Consumer Advisory Councils (CACs) to provide feedback on enrollees’ care experience. This report explores the composition, function, and impact of the resulting CACs established by MMPs and examines key issues for standing up CACs, including recruitment and training of consumer members, accommodations to help consumers participate, and guidance ensuring representativeness and diversity. It also describes best practices derived from interviews with MMPs.

Determining how to effectively engage consumers, solicit and respond to their feedback to inform more effective patient-centered care is increasingly important. The report provides important lessons for developing, implementing, and managing CACs that are relevant to advocates, public officials, and health plan and provider leaders. This is a helpful resource for spurring more meaningful development of CACs and involvement of consumers in their design and implementation.

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