Tag Archives: Medicare Part D Drugs

CMS Finalizes 2018 Medicare Advantage/Part D Policies, Seeks Ideas for Improving Programs

CMS has released its 2018 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter. CMS estimates that plan revenues will increase by 0.45 percent in 2018; when coding acuity is considered, plans can expect a total revenue change of 2.95 percent. CMS also adopted provisions intended to reduce opioid misuse under Medicare Part … Continue Reading

Post-Acute Care Providers Targeted for Cuts in MedPAC’s Latest Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released recommendations to Congress regarding how Medicare fee-for-service payment system rates should be adjusted in 2018. One of the focus areas for MedPAC is post-acute care (PAC), which includes skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health agency (HHA), inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), and long-term care hospital (LTCH) services.  According … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Proposed 2018 Medicare Advantage/Part D Reimbursement Methodologies and Policies

CMS has released its 2018 Advance Notice and Call Letter, which outline proposed updates to Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan reimbursement methodologies and policies. CMS notes that it its proposed policies focus on four major outcomes: (1) improvement in quality of care for individuals, (2) promotion of alternative payment models, (3) program integrity … Continue Reading

OIG Reports on Impact of “High-Priced Drugs” on Medicare Part D Catastrophic Coverage Spending

At the request of Congress and others, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a review of “high-priced drugs” (defined by OIG as exceeding $1,000 per month) and their impact on the Medicare program.  The OIG found that 2015 federal payments for Part D catastrophic coverage, which is triggered when a beneficiary’s out-of-pocket costs exceed … Continue Reading

CMS Plans “Listening Session” on Part D Drug Management Programs under CARA (Nov. 14)

CMS is hosting a November 14, 2016 “listening session” to obtain stakeholder input on implementation of section 704 of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA), Under this provision, Medicare Part D sponsors may establish drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries to limit access to frequently-abused drugs to certain prescribers and pharmacies. Topics … Continue Reading

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has published a final rule to expand from 100 to 275 the number … Continue Reading

So You’re an Overpaid Medicare Part C/D Provider or Supplier: Can You Keep the Change?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published the long-awaited final rule February 12, 2016, clarifying the specific procedures applicable to the statutory requirement under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) for providers and suppliers to report and return overpayments within 60 days. While the final rule eased some of the law’s more unforgiving aspects, … Continue Reading

MedPAC Issues Recommendations on Medicare Drug, Post-Acute Care, and Other Payment Policies

MedPAC has released its June 2016 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes recommendations for a number of Medicare policy reforms and analyses of various health care market developments. Several chapters address Medicare drug policy, including a review of external factors that influence the prices Medicare pays … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final 2017 Medicare Advantage Capitation Rates and Medicare Advantage/Part D Payment Policies

CMS has issued its final 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter, which includes a series of policy and payment changes related to these programs. CMS estimates that the final policies will increase MA rates by an average of 0.85%, down from the expected 1.35% increase in the advance notice … Continue Reading

CMS Delays Enforcement of Medicare Part D Prescriber Enrollment Requirement Until February 1, 2017

CMS is delaying until February 1, 2017 enforcement of previously-adopted regulations that require physicians and other eligible professionals who prescribe Part D drugs to be enrolled in Medicare (or have a valid opt-out affidavit on file) for their prescriptions to be covered under Medicare Part D. CMS is delaying enforcement so that it “minimizes the … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Rate, Policy Updates for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

CMS has issued its draft 2017 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D Advance Notice and Draft Call Letter, which includes a variety of proposed policy changes and rate updates related to these programs. CMS estimates that the draft policies would increase MA rates by an average of 1.35% (considering coding trends the agency expects revenues … Continue Reading

Medicare and Medicaid Drug Policy Provisions in the Obama Administration’s Proposed FY 2017 Budget

The Obama Administration’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, released on February 9, 2016, includes a number of legislative proposals that would revise Medicare and Medicaid policies to achieve budget savings and make other program reforms.  The largest pool of Medicare savings would result from various Medicare prescription drug proposals, including the following (all savings … Continue Reading

OIG Policy Statement Outlines Conditions Under Which Hospitals May Waive Beneficiary Copayments for Outpatient Self-Administered Drugs

The OIG has issued a policy statement clarifying the conditions under which hospitals may discount or waive Medicare beneficiary copayment amounts for self-administered drugs (SADs) received in outpatient settings without running afoul of OIG fraud authorities. In particular, the OIG addressed questions that have arisen from a 2003 CMS statement that a hospital’s decision not … Continue Reading

Upcoming Energy & Commerce Committee Hearings on Medication Therapy Management, Medicaid/Exchange Eligibility Determinations

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has scheduled an October 21, 2015 hearing to examine the Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management Program. In addition the Health Subcommittee is holding an October 23 hearing entitled “”Reviewing the Accuracy of Medicaid and Exchange Eligibility Determinations.”… Continue Reading

CMS Announces Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management Innovation Model

The latest CMS “innovation model” will test whether providing Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) sponsors with financial incentives and flexibility with regard to medication therapy management (MTM) program requirements can improve quality and reduce costs by “right-sizing” investment in MTM services.  Specifically, CMS will allow stand-alone PDP sponsors in 11 states to apply … Continue Reading

Revised House 21st Century Cures Bill Released Ahead of House Vote

Later this week, the House of Representatives is expected to consider the H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act.  Ahead of the House vote, the House Rules Committee released a revised version of the bill with new funding offsets and other policy changes.  Notably changes in the newest version include: A provision excluding authorized generics … Continue Reading

MedPAC Report to Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its June 2015 Report to the Congress on Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System. The report includes a series of recommendations on Medicare hospital short-stay policy, in response in part to hospital concerns about related Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program audits and appeals and the … Continue Reading

OIG Releases FY 2015 Work Plan Mid-Year Update

The HHS OIG has updated its FY 2015 Work Plan to reflect new and/or completed items since release of its Work Plan in October 2014. Of note, the OIG has announced its plans to conduct several new Medicare reviews addressing: intensity-modulated radiation therapy; hospital preparedness and response to high-risk infectious diseases; access to DME in competitive … Continue Reading

CMS Guidance on Beneficiary MA Drug Plan Disenrollments by Long Term Care Facilities

CMS has released guidance for long term care (LTC) facilities, including nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities, on beneficiary disenrollments. According to the guidance, “CMS continues to see an unacceptable practice of LTC facilities disenrolling beneficiaries from Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MAPDs) and enrolling them into stand-alone drug plans (PDPs) without the beneficiary’s or … Continue Reading

House Energy and Commerce Committee Unanimously Approves 21st Century Cures Bill

Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 6, the “21st Century Cures Act,” by a bipartisan, unanimous 51-0 vote. This major legislation is intended to accelerate the pace of medical cures in the United States through a variety of reforms addressing drug and device development and approval, clinical trial design, research funding, interoperability … Continue Reading
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