Friday, August 17, 2012

CMS Announces New Marketing Regulations (Part 1)

CMS has approached the 2013 Marketing Regulations with a critical eye, and an editorial focus. In an effort to simplify and clarify the rules, CMS has removed around 70 pages from the document. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at some of those changes, and explore what motivated CMS to make such drastic edits.

For starters, let’s take a look at some of the motivating factors behind these changes.

Focus on Marketing Requirements

CMS rules in previous years may have been unnecessarily complex or confusing. 2012’s Rules document makes an attempt to lessen that confusion by narrowing the scope of the regulatory focus. It makes sense at even the most basic level: if you have less information to take in, you are more likely to take in all of it, right?

Eliminate Redundancy

Here is another easy win. CMS took a critical look at the 2013 Marketing Guidelines, and cut out any repetitious, redundant, or pointless language. The result is more concise, easily-digested content.

So what did all of this renewed focus get us? The regulation document breaks down to three guiding principles. Here is the first:
Plan sponsors are responsible for ensuring compliance with CMS’ current marketing regulations and guidance, including monitoring and overseeing the activities of their subcontractors, downstream entities, and/or delegated entities.

This applies to anyone that a plan has delegated some responsibility to implement, and includes – but is not limited to – marketing events, marketing materials, the distribution of those materials, and collecting or disseminating information.

Next week, we'll look at the two other guiding principals.


Pam Argeris is a thought leader in the Healthcare Industry and possesses extensive, hands-on experience with CMS compliance, and multiple regulatory bodies such as NCQA, JACHO, and DOI. In her role at Merrill Corp., Pam focuses on developing solutions for compliance and quality assurance, delivered in a cost effective manner to improve beneficiary and prospect communications. You can contact Pam at

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