Medicare Part D: The 50% Solution
This article was originally published in RPM Report
Millions of Medicare beneficiaries are wading through the sea of choices to enroll in Part D. But two months into the new program, the most popular choice remains not signing up.
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One of the Obama Administration's first moves in managing the Medicare Part D benefit is to tamp down on the number of beneficiaries who will be randomly assigned to a new plan on Jan. 1. Stability is good for the program politically, but it may also be a sign of more hands-on management by the Medicare agency in the years ahead.
Democrats are threatening to use a budgetary procedure to accelerate the passage of broad health reforms in the next Congress. Republicans are already voicing protest, particularly with the idea of a new government-run insurance plan gaining momentum. But those concerns may fall on deaf ears.
New e-prescribing standards under Medicare Part D were finalized in April, but doctors aren't rushing to swap their pen and pad for a PDA. However, a bill floating through Congress may jumpstart adoption of the technology by doctors--if the legislation can get into this year's Medicare bill.