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Pharmacy Benefits and PBM Contracting

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On May 8, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee passed a bipartisan bill entitled the “Preserving Telehealth, Hospital and Ambulance Access Act” by a vote of 41-0, which will potentially have far-reaching consequences for Medicare beneficiaries, health care providers, and the telehealth and PBM industries.
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On February 15, 2024, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Medicare Prescription Payment Plan Draft Part Two Guidance (Part Two Guidance) as part of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) efforts to tackle high prescription drug costs. The Medicare Prescription Payment Part Plan (the Program), which was previously referred to as the “OOP Smoothing Program”, was established as part of the IRA and requires Part D plans (PDPs) to offer their members an option to pay for out-of-pocket (OOP) prescription drug costs in monthly capped payments, as opposed to all at once, at a pharmacy. Meaning, for members who opt-in to the Program, they will pay $0 at the pharmacy and the PDP must pay the pharmacy the full cost-sharing amount of the drug and then bill the member the amount of the cost-sharing over the remainder of the calendar year.
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