HCC scores have been used since 2004 by Medicare to adjust payments based on the risk level of the enrollee. This has resulted in Medicare paying a higher monthly capitation fee for patients with higher HCC scores as these patients require more resources and disease intervention. The HCC payment system uses ICD-10 codes and demographics to generate a risk adjustment factor (RAF) score which identifies patients that require higher cost to care for and is based on the diagnosis codes billed in the previous review period.
The Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) was developed and implemented by The Centers for Medicate and Medicaid (CMS) in order to create a risk adjustment methodology to provide adequate payment plans for patients opting for private health care. These codes are primarily based on the health expenditure risk profiles of the Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members;
In response to the demand for improving the capture of chronic illness diagnoses for reimbursements, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated the development of the Hierarchical Categorical Condition (HCC) code system and implemented it in the year 2004. The incorporation of the HCC codes has helped drive CMS payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) members.