Shift to Medicare Part D may reduce total drug expenditure
A proposal by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to shift coverage of certain drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D (private prescription drug plans) may reduce total drug expenditure, but may increase out-of-pocket (OOP) costs for some beneficiaries, according to findings of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.1
This study investigated total Medicare drug spending on 75 brand-name drugs accounting for the highest Part B expenditure in fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries in 2016, and estimated total drug spending if these drugs were switched to Medicare Part D, and compared annual OOP costs under Part B versus Part D. It also investigated the proportion of drugs in Part D protected drug classes.
Estimated total annual Medicare Part B spending for the 75 brand-name drugs with the highest expenditure was $21.6 billion [2018 US dollars] per year. It was estimated that if these drugs were switched to Medicare Part D, total spending on these drugs would...
- 1.Hwang TJ, et al. Analysis of Proposed Medicare Part B to Part D Shift With Associated Changes in Total Spending and Patient Cost-Sharing for Prescription Drugs. JAMA Internal Medicine : 14 Jan 2019. Available from: URL: http://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6417
- 2.Venker B, et al. Assessment of Spending in Medicare Part D If Medication Prices From the Department of Veterans Affairs Were Used. JAMA Internal Medicine : 14 Jan 2019. Available from: URL: http://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.5874
- 3.Crosson FJ, et al. Managing the Cost of Medicare Part B Drugs: Implications for the Program and Beneficiaries. JAMA Internal Medicine : 14 Jan 2019. Available from: URL: http://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6146