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Medicare Drug Plan Educational Materials Available
February 26, 2006

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued another publication about the drugs covered by Medicare drug plans. What Drugs do Medicare Drug Plans Cover? provides information in a question and answer format directed at the beneficiary. It includes clarification on prior authorization and step-therapy requirements. The exceptions and appeals processes are addressed. Drugs that are excluded from Medicare coverage, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, are identified. The document encourages the beneficiary to use the transition period to either change current medications to those that are covered by the plan in which the individual is enrolled or request an exception for the medication if need be. The full document is available from this link.

CMS will conduct an audio conference entitled Working with Plan Formularies: Transition Supplies, Prior Authorization, Quantity Limits, Step Therapy, and Exceptions on March 2 from 2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Interested persons can dial 888-469-1340 to participate in the call. CMS requests dial-in 15 minutes before the call is scheduled. The pass code is #2385428 and the call leader is Charlotte Newman. Participants can download the PowerPoint presentation on February 28 after 3:00 p.m. from the CMS Partner Center web site (www.cms.hhs.gov/center/partner.asp) under Spotlight. Questions about the presentation and the Medicare publication above can be submitted in advance of the audio conference to BSPGtraining@cms.hhs.gov by 12:00 p.m. on March 1, referencing “3/2/06 Training” in the subject line. This session will be recorded and available on the CMS web site approximately one week following the training (http://media.cms.hhs.gov/cms/partner03022006.wma).

PCPA members may contact Betty Simmonds at PCPA with questions about Medicare Part D.

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