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Executive Summary

The Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) deadline for receiving bids to process outpatient prescription drug claims has been extended from Oct. 2 to Nov. 1. HCFA has decided to give contractors an extra month to comply with all the specifications for the four-year, multi-billion dollar program, staff said. About five bidders requested more time to complete their proposals, according to the agency. The three winning contractors will handle about 700 mil. claims annually. HCFA announced the extension in a Sept. 19 notice. In its July 17 request for proposals, HCFA had set Oct. 2 as the deadline for submitting proposals. Several other key deadlines set at that time also have been moved back about a month (see box); however, the program is still expected to be operational by Jan. 1, 1991 as previously scheduled. That date is specified by the Medicare Catastrophic Care Act as the start of coverage for all outpatient drugs. Chart omitted.

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