Loading Please wait, logging in.
Join ALFA Member Login RSS Feed
Tagline Image
Bookmark and Share  

Seniors’ Drug Plan Website Riddled with Problems

For most of 2013, at least 25 percent of contracts for the Medicare prescription drug benefit known as Medicare Part D had one or more plans suppressed from Plan Finder, the Medicare website seniors use to choose their drug plans, according to a new government report.

Additionally, from 2009 to July 31, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made more than 150 official compliance actions against plans for pricing inaccuracy by issuing 89 notices of noncompliance and 67 warning letters, according to the Government Accountability Office study, CMS Has Implemented Processes to Oversee Plan Finder Pricing Accuracy and Improve Website Usability. Medicare Part D is a federal program subsidizing the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries.

“Seniors should always have the right information when choosing a prescription drug plan,” said Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Bill Nelson (D-FL), who requested the report with the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. “This report underscores the need for Medicare to continue to do everything it can to stop false information from being posted on Plan Finder.”

CMS this year plans to add a “display” quality measure that will indicate the extent to which point-of-sale prescription drug costs were lower than prices posted on the plan finder.

There has been only one instance when CMS required a Part D plan sponsor to develop and implement a corrective action plan for compliance concerns related to Plan Finder pricing accuracy.

CMS requires Part D plan sponsors to submit accurate drug pricing information, which the agency uses to give seniors an online estimate of each plan’s annual drug costs and out-of-pocket expenses.  When a plan is suppressed from the Plan Finder website, its pricing information is removed and beneficiaries are unable sign up for the plan on site until the sponsor submits accurate prices.

In cases where plan sponsors repeatedly submit false or incomplete information, CMS can issue noncompliance notices or warning letters.  In more egregious cases, CMS can require plan sponsors to take corrective action or seek enforcement actions such as civil penalties, payment suspensions or contract terminations.



 
Suggested Articles:

12/6/2016
Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Medication Management, News
Staffing shortages and rising prescription drug costs are two key challenges health care executives will face in 2017, according to a new survey.
11/21/2016
Advocacy, Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Community Awareness and Education, End of Life, Federal Agency Activity, Managed Risk, Medication Management, News, Public Policy
Colorado became the sixth state to approve language allowing terminally ill patients to end their own lives thanks to approximately two-thirds of vote...
11/10/2016
Federal Agency Activity, Medication Management, Medication Technology & Informatics, News, Science and Technology, Technology Infrastructure
The Social Security Administration has launched a new health information technology initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs enabling all So...
9/1/2016
Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Community Awareness and Education, Health and Wellness, Health Care, Knowledge Management, Medication Management, Medication Technology & Informatics, News
The Health and Human Services Department is seeking public input on its efforts to make it easier for patients’ medical records to follow them through...
8/25/2016
Clinical Quality and Quality Care Delivery, Community Awareness and Education, Facts and Figures, Health Care, Medication Management, Medication Technology & Informatics, News, Reports, Research
Overall prescription drug spending in the United States rose by 17 percent from 2013 to 2014, according to new data released by the Centers for Medica...
01/23/2014


Additional Resources