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- CARMEN MELCHOR on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- Naomi on What Sequestration Could Mean to Medicare Advantage Claims Payment
- callcenter972 on Call Center Metrics Reporting Should Be Robust and Actionable
- Sione Ayers on Diagnosing the ObamaCare Glitches: Who Farted and Is Pointing at the Dog?
- Tim Leary on New ACO Reg has some zingers
Topic: Part D
After 70 Senators signed a protest bill and the hue and cry from hospice providers, patients and prescribers got too loud, CMS rescinded its’ previous regs for hospice patients and published new guidance on 7-18-14. Previous guidance required health plans to place prior authorization edits on all medications after a member was identified as being a hospice patient. So, all the medications that the member was previously receiving under their Part D benefit were denied at point of sale. This caused a significant hardship to hospice providers who many times had to pay for the hospice member’s medications. The philosophical and medical issue continues to be what medications should be continued and which medications should be discontinued when members are in their hospice benefit. Should antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic, diabetes and other chronic medications be continued for hospice patients? Rational and substantive arguments exist for the continuation of some chemotherapy medications which keep tumor growth in check and are considered to be palliative for some patients.
The question arises from almost every client, “Why do we have to do daily rejected claims review?” The answer is that there is no better way “to take the temperature” of Part D compliance than rejected claim reviews. Everything that can and will occur happens at Point of Sale. At a minimum you can detect problems with the following:
Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) met with 30 hospice & healthcare organizations about suspending a new rule intended to avoid duplicate payments for hospice medications. This is a very big deal and the new rule is mucking up many beneficiaries’ last days. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization described the meeting as “an important first step at righting the wrongs being faced by dying Medicare patients.”
At CMS’ oversight and enforcement conference last week Jonathan Blanar, the agency’s Deputy Director of Compliance Enforcement, presented the following slide. In this slide, you will see actions CMS has imposed against Medicare health plans in the last two years, and for what reasons. It’s further evidence that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are failing Medicare beneficiaries and the plans enrolling them.
On June 26, CMS hosted their MA-PD Oversight and Enforcement conference. Not one of the topics was less relevant to the audience than another – they prepared ahead of time to present current, critical information related to their data-driven approach to oversight, best practices and common findings, preparing for an audit and enforcement actions. I was glad to see CMS invite plan sponsor staff to share their experiences. They included Todd Meek of SilverScript Insurance Company; Margaret Drakeley of Kelsey Care Advantage; Shannon Trembley of Martin’s Point Health Care; Marcella Jordan of Kaiser Permanente, and Jenny O’Brien of UnitedHealthCare. Their first-hand accounts are worth your full attention.
In this Golden Age of government programs, the health plan industry has never had more exposure to the generally poor performance of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Performance metrics in Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare are directly tied to PBM execution, and the recent track record of these companies means they are the Achille’s Heel of insurers.
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA) is toast. Trounced in his Richmond district by a nobody Tea Bagger Tuesday night. Cantor gave up his leadership position yesterday. Depending on where you sit politically, either the unthinkable or the inevitable happened. In fact, a Majority Leader hasn’t lost incumbency since the office was created in 1899. “The defeat of the second-ranking Republican in the House by an ill-funded, little-known tea party-backed candidate ranks as the biggest congressional upset in modern memory and will immediately generate a series of political and policy-related shock waves in Washington,” wrote Chris Cilizza of WaPo.