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Published June 5, 2023
The Alliance for Aging Research along with 48 additional organizations submitted a letter to Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), offering feedback on the forthcoming implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) provisions related to the Medicare Part D redesign. These provisions include the smoothing flexibility that allows beneficiaries to spread out their costs throughout the year, and the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers.
The letter highlights the need for the Medicare Program to enact significant protections for beneficiaries and recommends the development of effective communication strategies to educate beneficiaries about these new provisions, including working with various stakeholders to create standardized educational resources that clearly explain the benefit, enrollment processes, and payment expectations. Additionally, it advocates for the establishment of clear guidelines and criteria for disqualification from cost smoothing, a transparent appeals process, and a minimum grace period for late payments.
The groups also note that CMS must monitor and protect against potential unintended consequences due to a broader Part D redesign, including clinically inappropriate use of utilization management techniques. The letter cautions against potential limitations on patient access to care and adverse outcomes resulting from insurers’ increased utilization management techniques, and recommends monitoring the techniques’ impact on beneficiaries.
The full list of signatories includes:
To learn more about collective efforts to lower out-of-pocket costs related to Medicare Part D, visit AgingResearch.org/Project-Loop.