Last Thursday, November 17, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed contract year 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D regulations. The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on November 28, 2017.
The proposed rule focuses on many issues including but not limited to:
- Implementing certain parts of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, aimed at establishing additional methods that Part D plans can use to reduce abuse or misuse of frequently abused drugs;
- Changes to certain Medicare Advantage provisions relating to marketing and delivery of information;
- Establishing “preclusion lists” under Medicare Advantage and Part D to limit when a Medicare Advantage organization and Part D plan sponsor may pay for a service or drug based on the provider who prescribed or furnished the service or drug;
- Part D Network requirements relating to any willing provider, including defining mail-order pharmacy;
- Part D beneficiaries’ access to generic drugs and follow-on biological products;
- Changes to medical loss ratio calculation and reporting; and
- Updates to the Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Rating System.
Within the proposed rule, CMS also included a request for information regarding the application of manufacturer rebates and pharmacy price concessions to drug prices at the point of sale. CMS has been gathering information regarding this topic for a number of years but appears to be seeking more detailed information in this request.
In the coming weeks we will be issuing detailed posts on these topics as well as others.
Based on the significance and number of the changes proposed, we anticipate that CMS will receive many comments from all segments of industry and beneficiary groups that may be affected by the proposed changes. Comments are due to CMS before 5:00 pm on January 16, 2018.