NAHC Commends CMS for its Guidance on Medicare Part D for Hospice Patients
July 21, 2014 02:35 PM
Andrea L. Devoti, chairman of the board of directors for the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), commended Marilyn Tavenner, administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), for taking essential steps to reduce prior authorization requirements for the processing of drugs under Part D for hospice patients.
“The action will bring marked relief to hospice patients and their hospice providers who have been dealing with the previous policy under which all drugs processed through Part D for hospice patients were subject to prior authorization,” Devoti said. Since implementation of the comprehensive prior authorization (PA) policy in May, hospice patients and their families have suffered significant and sometimes harmful delays in securing needed medications.
While drugs under the four categories of analgesics, antinauseants, laxatives, and anti-anxiety medications will continue being subject to prior authorization, the reduced number of medications subject to PA will significantly lessen the challenges and difficulties present under the full PA policy.
Additionally, other changes CMS has made will provide greater clarity to Part D plans, hospices, and their patients relative to process and expectations.
“We are very happy that CMS has chosen the best possible course to ensure both accountability and high-quality hospice care,” said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. “NAHC and other stakeholders worked tirelessly to convince CMS that changes were needed, and we are encouraged by CMS' response.”
Additional details on CMS’ decision will be provided in future issues of NAHC Report.