Not So Random Selection: Medicare Agency Cuts "Churn" In Part D Enrollment
This article was originally published in RPM Report
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.
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Preventing big out-of-pocket expenditures by patients for health services and pharmaceuticals may be the antidote to the toxic bad publicity for health reform during August. At least, PhRMA hopes so. The trade association is helping to support an AMA campaign against copays.
Keeping the Government at Bay: Protecting Part D from the Protected Classes and Specialty Drug Pricing
A tenuous collaboration between drug manufacturers and health insurance plans holds together Part D, the private Medicare drug benefit. That collaboration is coming under pressure on several fronts: specialty drug pricing and restrictions on health plan formulary tools for six specfic drug classes are the most threatening. Karen Ignagni, the head of the health industry trade group, says industry must resolve the problems or leave a hole for more government control.
Democrats failed in their first attempt to impose price controls in Medicare Part D. But, led by California Rep. Waxman, they may have found a new approach that seems less threatening than price negotiations-rebates for products used by dual eligible patients. And the drugs most likely to be affected are in Part D's six protected classes.