States told to 'back off' on prescription drug benefit

From NY Times:

Expect controversy today over yesterday's news that the government does not want states to "steer" Medicare recipients towards any specific prescription drug plans. A CMS memorandum released yesterday says that states should not be able to point Medicare patients towards one or two preferred plans, saying that such efforts "may violate federal fraud and abuse laws." Many states have said they want to simplify benefits administration and reduce consumer confusion by screening new prescription drug plans offered under Medicare part D. There had been some speculation that Washington would allow limited state intervention. Yesterday's news, however, suggests that CMS is committed to a free-market model of prescription drug coverage. That is likely to rankle critics who argue the benefit does more for pharma companies than it does for low income Medicare recipients.

1 comment:

HowlingCoyote said...

"...reduce consumer confusion by screening new prescription drug plans offered under Medicare part D. "

Can it get any worse? I tried to sort out the 'card fiasco' for my parents and finally just threw my paws up and howled at the system in utter frustration.

That is likely to rankle critics who argue the benefit does more for pharma companies than it does for low income Medicare recipients.

Well, if the shoe fits...if Rx prices keep going up no one will be able to afford drugs, despite the pressure to prescribe, prescribe, prescribe!

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