CMS Proposes New Ways to Pay for Part B Covered Medications

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch2 Comments

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Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center proposed a demonstration to test new strategies to pay for medications that are covered under Part B. Most prescription medications are covered under Medicare Part D, but some (mostly those administered by a doctor) are paid for under the outpatient Part B benefit. Common Part B prescription drugs treat cancer, macular degeneration, anemia, and arthritis. Part B medications tend to be very expensive—in 2013, Medicare and its beneficiaries spent $19 billion on Part B prescriptions. Read More...

Diabetes Prevention Program Showing Positive Results

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch1 Comment

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the expansion of the Diabetes Prevention Program, led by the Innovation Center, is improving the quality of patient care without limiting services and will reduce net spending in the Medicare program. “This program has been shown to reduce health care costs and help prevent diabetes, and is one that Medicare, employers, and private insurers can use to help 86 million Americans live healthier,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave Medicare the tools to support this groundbreaking effort and to expand this program more broadly.” Read More...

Medicare Rights Responds to MedPAC Recommendations on Part D

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

Last week, Medicare Rights wrote to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) responding to three proposals under consideration by MedPAC to alter the Part D prescription drug program. Established in 1997, MedPAC is an independent federal body made up of 17 members with diverse expertise in the financing and delivery of health care services. MedPAC regularly makes recommendations to Congress regarding the administration of the Medicare program. Read More...

Interactive Tool Shows Geographic Disparities in Chronic Diseases Among People with Medicare

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an interactive map to help pinpoint disparities in health outcomes, utilization of health services, and health care spending by race and ethnicity based on geographic locations. Specifically, the tool shows disparities in chronic diseases among Medicare beneficiaries, spotlighting differences according to geography, age, sex, and race and ethnicity. Read More...

Affordable Care Act After Six Years: Medicare is Stronger and 20 Million More Are Insured

Stacy SandersIn the Know, Medicare Watch0 Comments

Six years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Through new health insurance Marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid, 20 million uninsured Americans have gained health coverage since 2010. Alongside these historic reductions in the number of uninsured, the ACA also made many important improvements to Medicare. On this sixth anniversary of the ACA, we reflect on three key ways the ACA strengthened Medicare. Read More...