In 2017, MedPAC recommended a policy that requires all Part B drug manufacturers to report ASP data and gives the Secretary the authority to apply penalties to manufacturers who do not report required data. This policy would improve the accuracy of Medicare’s payments and protect beneficiaries and taxpayers from paying higher prices.
From 2010 to 2017, Medicare spending on the monthly prospective payments grew rather slowly, and average premiums for Medicare Part D enrollees remained between $30 and $31 per month. However, Medicare spending on reinsurance payments for enrollees with high drug costs grew on average more than 20% per year since 2010. In this blog post, we discuss several factors that have contributed to that high growth in recent years.
When the Commission began its deliberations on drug policy, which ultimately shaped the contents of the June report, it started with two informational presentations that were intended to provide background and context for its discussions. The Commission is now releasing annotated versions of these presentations to serve as a resource for policymakers.
Evidence suggests that price growth for brand-name drugs is beginning to drive growth in average prices of all drugs covered under Part D.
Every year, the Commission provides a status report on the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D programs. These reports were presented at our December and January meetings. To monitor each program’s performance, we examine enrollment trends, and plan availability for the coming year, as well as a variety of other factors.
At the end of July, CMS announced that enrollee premiums for Medicare’s outpatient prescription drug benefit, known as Part D, will remain stable for 2016 at an average of $32.50 per month. It marks continued good news for Part D enrollees, whose average premiums have remained at about $30 to $32 per month for the past 7 years. However, other trends are more worrisome for the taxpayers supporting the Part D program.
At MedPAC’s October public meeting, the Commission discussed patterns of potentially inappropriate opioid use in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit, Part D. In 2011, 10 million beneficiaries, or about 32 percent of Part D enrollees filled at least one prescription for an opioid. The share of Part D enrollees who use opioids in varies considerably across states.
At MedPAC’s public meeting last week, the Commission discussed how Medicare shares financial risk with Part D prescription drug plans.