CMS Unveils Plan to Reduce Drug Costs for Medicare

April 4, 2018

The CMS recently finalized new policies aimed at reducing prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries, according to a press release.

“The Trump Administration is taking steps for seniors with Medicare to save money on prescription drugs,” Seema Verma, MPH, Adminstrator of the CMS, said in a press release. “The steps we are taking will drive more competition among plans and pharmacies to meet the needs of seniors and lower costs.”

The new policy will lower drug costs by allowing low-cost generic drugs to be substituted onto plan formularies at any time during the year. This will allow Medicare beneficiaries to immediately benefit from changes in plan design that would reduce drug costs.

The new policy also changes give Medicare beneficiaries more plan choices, by removing a requirement that Medicare Part D plans must “meaningfully differ” from each other.” CMS hopes this will increase competition among Medicare Part D plans by allowing more plan options for beneficiaries.

CMS also announced that it is finalizing plans to reduce the maximum out-of-pocket amount that low-income Medicare Part D beneficiaries have to pay for novel treatments and biosimilars. Additional policies included reductions in administrative requirements for health plans.

“The final policies also advance the “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative – an effort aimed at removing regulatory obstacles and empowering patients to make informed healthcare decisions; developing innovative approaches to improving quality, accessibility, and affordability; and improving beneficiaries’ customer experience,” CMS wrote.

David Costill

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