This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Pharmacists Commend Congress' Concern Over Medicare Preferred Pharmacy Drug Plans

NCPA Questions Cost Savings of the Plans

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Thirty-one U.S. Representatives and a U.S. Senator have written to Medicare raising questions about the impact of so-called "preferred pharmacy" drug plans, which may actually raise costs to the Medicare Part D program and taxpayers, according to a recent statement by Medicare officials and an analysis by the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100106/DC33253LOGO)

Preferred pharmacy plans differ from traditional drug benefit plans in that they establish tiers of pharmacies.  The plans allow most pharmacies to participate as "network" pharmacies in order to allow the plan to satisfy Medicare's geographic access requirements.  But only a limited number of pharmacies are allowed by the plan to participate as a "preferred" pharmacy authorized to offer the plan's lowest, advertised co-pays.  Most plans do not allow independently owned pharmacies to participate as a preferred pharmacy in their network.  The increasing number of preferred pharmacy plans are especially challenging for seniors in rural areas, where independent or regional pharmacies are often the closest pharmacy and where the nearest preferred pharmacy may be 20 miles or more away.

"We have been hearing increasing concern from Medicare beneficiaries and small business owners regarding Medicare Part D plans that feature preferred pharmacy networks," wrote U.S. Representatives H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and 29 other Representatives, adding that "we fear these networks could lead to a decrease in access to quality care and threaten the survival of community pharmacies."

The lawmakers noted they were concerned over questions about the usefulness of the Medicare Plan Finder website and the fact that some plans may require seniors to travel long distances to reach a preferred pharmacy.  They asked the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to "outline a plan to mitigate any hardship" that the plans may cause beneficiaries and community pharmacists, and asked if Medicare plans to "expand opportunities for independent pharmacies to join and compete with the Part D preferred networks on a level playing field."

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs