CMS Backs Away From Major Changes to Medicare Part D

The Obama administration has backed away from major changes proposed for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. In January, the CMS introduced a draft policy intended to control costs, decrease fraud, and “level the playing field for the private insurance plans that participate in the program,” but most of the proposed ideas have since been panned. The Healthcare Leadership Council sent a letter, signed by 371 patient advocacy groups, drug manufacturers, health plans and provider organizations, to the CMS, asking that they not make any changes to the program. The decision to not move forward with the major changes has been disappointing to community pharmacists who say that CMS was swayed by large retailers, most of which benefit from the restricted networks that are employed in approximately 70% of Part D plans.

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