3/10/2014 update: (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday told members of Congress that it will not finalize controversial changes to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits program “at this time,” following weeks of growing opposition to the proposals from a broad coalition of interests.
U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a letter to lawmakers that her agency will instead seek new input from stakeholders before advancing some or all of the changes “in future years.”
The controversial changes included new rules governing the establishment of preferred pharmacy networks that would have allowed more pharmacies to gain preferred status, and increased CMS authority to get involved in negotiations between pharmacies and Part D plans. Critics argued that increased regulation would lead to rising drug costs and premiums for beneficiaries.
Original Post 3/3/2014: Growing Opposition to CMS’ Proposed Changes to Part D
The 60-day comment period for CMS’ proposed changes to Part D is coming to a close on March 7th, and critics in government and the healthcare industry are speaking out against what they believe to be a harmful and unnecessary increase in government regulation.