MedPAC Concerned with Hospice Preauthorization of Part D Drugs

The members of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) sent a letter to the CMS Administrator advising the agency to issue an improved regulatory proposal that would allow hospice patients to “obtain timely access to needed drugs even in the event of a dispute between the hospice and Part D plan over financial responsibility.” Similar sentiments were relayed to CMS in letters from both House and Senate members. The current CMS policy to require prior authorization for all drugs for hospice patients was originally instituted to rectify the inappropriate billing that had preceded the rule.

FDA Generic Drug Label Rule Contested

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) saying that the rule on generic drug label updates recently proposed by the FDA should be given a renewed cost-benefit analysis in that they contend that the proposed rule fails to take into consideration litigation-associated costs and raises novel legal and policy issues.

Health Legislation Recently Introduced

H.R. 4930 (MEDICAID/CHIP), to amend titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act to provide states with the option of providing services to children with medically complex conditions under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program through a care coordination program focused on improving health outcomes for children with medically complex conditions and lowering costs, and for other purposes; BARTON; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, June 20.

H.R. 4942 (VETERANS’ HEALTH), to amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to increase the number of graduate medical education residency positions at hospitals administered by the secretary of veterans affairs; TITUS; to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, June 23.

H. RES. 640 (DISABILITY AWARENESS), supporting the goals and ideals of Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week; TAKANO; to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, June 23.

S. 2515 (MEDICAID), to ensure that Medicaid beneficiaries have the opportunity to receive care in a home and community-based setting; HARKIN; to the Committee on Finance, June 24.

H.R. 4944 (PARASITIC DISEASE), to require the submission of a report to the Congress on parasitic disease among poor Americans; JOHNSON of Georgia; to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, June 24.

H.R. 4951 (RURAL HEALTH), to provide incentives to physicians to practice in rural and medically underserved communities, and for other purposes; BERA; to the Committee on the Judiciary, June 24.

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