Tag Archives: Medicare Part D

The 2019 Application – Key Dates

Regan Pennypacker

As a follow up to my last article on the Notice of Intent to Apply, I give you an enhanced chart of 2019 application activities outlining things you should have been doing or should be in the middle of now. Thanks to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for creating a base, published on Friday via memo – my colorful additions peppered throughout for your perusal. If past activities have not been done yet, it is time to get a move on, or you risk missing the deadline. Read more

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CMS Notice of Intent to Apply

Regan Pennypacker

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Annual Call Letter calendar marks November 13, 2017, as the first due date for the Notice of Intent to Apply. It is expected the Center for Medicare will release a reminder memo this month outlining the details. In general, the agency requires a Notice of Intent to Apply to be submitted when an organization plans on submitting a request for any of the following: Read more

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Big Changes to Medigap in 2020 = A Seismic Event in Senior Markets Now

John Gorman

A little section in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) is bringing big changes to Medicare supplemental insurance, also known as Medigap, bought by more than 12 million seniors to help fill in the coverage holes in traditional Medicare. In the vast majority of cases, Medigap purchasers augment their coverage with a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). That means MACRA’s changes will cause a seismic event in senior markets – Medicare Advantage, Medigap insurers, and PDPs – nationally, starting now.

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10 CMS Program Audit Risks

Regan Pennypacker

Program audits and oversight activities must be designed with many factors to balance: accuracy, consistency, efficiency, and in an effort to be least disruptive to a plan sponsor. Correspondingly, a plan should be tailoring its response to these audits with those same factors in mind. My colleague Deb Devereaux and I outline ten common risk areas we observe in plans large and small. Read more

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Three Compliance-Minded Steps to Take for 2018 Marketing and Sales

Regan Pennypacker

Is it me, or is time flying by? Applications are done, bids are in, new plans are in planning stages, and existing plans are getting ready for the launch of the next benefit year.

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Will Trump and Price Pull Out the Scalpels for Star Ratings?

John Gorman

Star Ratings have driven the market in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D since the Affordable Care Act turned the consumer information tool into the biggest experiment in value-based payment on the planet. There’s little argument Star Ratings is working, and MA quality has improved. The program is being adopted in the ObamaCare Health Insurance Marketplace, and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) included the Quality Reporting System, or Stars for Medicaid, starting in 2019. Then Trump got elected President and appointed Tom Price the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary. Could they pull out the scalpels for Star Ratings?

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The Part D Shell Game

Debra Devereaux

Top of mind when we are talking about Medicare compliance should be that the ultimate customer is the taxpayer who funds this program. That’s why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has to attempt to account for every nickel that comes into or goes out of the programs. One of the murkiest finance areas is in Medicare Part D – that is Direct and Indirect Remuneration (DIR). CMS published a memo on January 19, 2017, with this very title.¹ DIR is the additional compensation – besides a partially capitated payment from CMS – received by a plan sponsor or Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) after the pharmacy point of sale (POS) transaction. This changes the final cost of the drug for the plan sponsor or the price of the drug paid to the pharmacy. DIR has grown significantly in the past few years in large part because of the growth of preferred network pharmacies. CMS states they have observed “a growing disparity between gross Part D drug costs, calculated based on costs of drugs at the POS, and net Part D drug costs, which account for all DIR.”

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