Topic: Part D

Meeting CMS Halfway: The 2016 Audit and Enforcement Conference

Regan Pennypacker

On June 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held their third annual Medicare Advantage & Prescription Drug Audit and Enforcement Conference and Webcast. At the heart of this conference is the CMS Program Audit. Agency experts as well as Sponsor participants presented to an in-person and webcast audience on expectations, process enhancements, upcoming developments, and more.

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Why Is Conducting a Part D Operational Assessment so Important?

Debra Devereaux

Medicare Part D is a complex program that is continually in motion. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in an attempt to provide clarity to stakeholders, actively publishes updated guidance to sponsors to assist in process improvement and encourage optimal beneficiary outcomes and experience. Keeping up with Health Plan Management System (HPMS) memos, best practices, yearly call letters, and webinar information is challenging.  Dynamic and ever-changing guidelines inevitably bring uncertainty and risk. Understanding these guidelines and operationalizing a compliant program is key to a successful program and financial sustainability.

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Health Plans Need to Start Talking About Disparities in Care

John Gorman

On the heels of a recent groundbreaking RAND report on racial disparities in Medicare Advantage (MA), the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a regulation that requires serious attention in health plans participating in MA, Part D, Medicaid, and ObamaCare. It’s a game-changer in advancing health equity and reducing disparities.

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Medicare Marketing Guidelines Summary of Changes – Have They Left You Scratching Your Head?

Carrie Barker-Settles

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The Formulary Season

Debra Devereaux

It’s the formulary season, and you should be in the home stretch for your Health Plan Management System (HPMS) submission. What’s on the formulary and what changes were made to the formulary are among the top reasons why members either enroll in or disenroll from a health plan. Manufacturer price increases over the past two years and the number of high-cost specialty drugs released to market make formulary decisions and utilization increasingly difficult and significant to the health plan’s bottom line. With an average generic medication utilization rate of 80-85%, there is limited movement to improve. Some thoughts to consider:

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Why are the Dual Eligible Demos Such a Hot Mess?

John Gorman

There’s no avoiding the steady stream of bad news facing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) financial alignment demonstrations for dually eligible beneficiaries. Enrollment is declining, beneficiaries are opting out at epic rates, and leading states like California are slowing their efforts despite crushing budget realities.  Dozens of health plans have invested millions to participate in what’s become a hot mess.  Where do we go from here?

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The Effect of the New Part B Drug Payment Proposal on Medicare Advantage and Part D

Olga Walther

It’s no secret drug costs have skyrocketed in the past decade, and drug payment policymakers face an uphill battle in figuring out how to curb this exponential growth. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has already taken a beating on its proposal to test a new alternative payment design to pay for drugs covered under Medicare Part B, calling into question whether this new methodology will go through looking anything like originally proposed. Part B spending is just a fraction of drug spending in Medicare, covering the drugs administered by a physician or hospital outpatient department. A major question for our industry is what effect this new proposal will have on Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plans if implemented.

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