Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services want to complete new Medicare Advantage marketing regulations before Oct. 1, when the next open season starts.

The new rules are a CMS priority and should be released shortly, Abby Block, director of the CMS Center for Beneficiary Choices and Medicaid Services, said here today at a conference organized by America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington.

The CMS soon will begin a pilot program to compare what Medicare Advantage carriers are advertising and what the carriers’ programs actually provide, Block said.

The CMS also will respond to reports that some Medicare Advantage carriers may be trying to steer patients with chronic health problems to other carriers, Block said.

Given the scrutiny the Medicare Advantage program has faced over the past year, “a higher level of due diligence is required” in program marketing, Block said.

“We are devoting a lot of time to resolving the problems once and for all,” Block said.