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Scrutinize new products as Medicare Advantage continues to expand

More than 2,750 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will be available to beneficiaries in 2008-up 25% from the number of MA plans offered this year-with most of the new offerings consisting of private fee for service (PFFS) plans, special needs plans (SNP), and local PPOs, according to an analysis of CMS data by Gorman Health Group, LLC, in Washington, DC. The increased MA offerings mean increased choices for Medicare beneficiaries, but they also could mean contracting headaches and reimbursement changes for providers accustomed to contracting either with Medicare HMOs or directly with CMS.