Improving the Way Medicare Pays for Care

Published Online: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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In this podcast from the Commonwealth Fund, Stuart Guterman, Commonwealth Fund vice president, and Michael Chernew, PhD, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, talk about how to reform the way Medicare pays for services in order to control growth in health care spending while improving care. To listen to the podcast, click here.
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Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today would formally designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under Medicare Part B. Supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to provide to Medicare patients in underserved communities services that pharmacists already are providing for other patients under state law.
Leaders of Senate and House committees with health care jurisdiction should hold oversight hearings to examine the issues that plagued approximately 50,000 beneficiaries who are covered by Aetna Medicare Part D drug plans.
Community pharmacists are most concerned about below-cost reimbursement for certain generic drugs as well as exclusionary Medicare drug plans according to a survey conducted by the National Community Pharmacists Association that asked its members to help identify the organization’s 2015 priorities.
Provider status would recognize pharmacists as a valued part of the health care team.
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