Medicare Part B covers drugs that are usually not self-administered, such as many intravenous medications and chemotherapy drugs. Medicare Part D, on the other hand, generally covers self-administered outpatient prescription drugs.
On March 11, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register aimed at reforming how Medicare pays for drugs covered under Part B. CMS states that its main objective is to ensure that physicians are prescribing the most effective prescription drugs in order to improve patient treatment and to rein in drug spending.
Under the proposed rule, CMS will implement a two-phase payment model over five years. In Phase I, CMS will decrease the add-on payment included in physician reimbursements for administering Part B drugs from 6 percent to 2.5 percent, plus a $16.80 flat fee. In Phase II, CMS will implement value-based pricing strategies, including reference pricing, indications-based pricing, risk-sharing agreements based on outcomes, discounting or eliminating patient cost-sharing, and feedback on prescription patterns and online decision support tools.
- Comments to the Proposed Rule are due May 9, 2016.
- See 81 Fed. Reg.13230 (Mar. 11, 2016), available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-11/pdf/2016-05459.pdf.