REPORT IDs ERRORS IN DRUG DISCOUNT PROGRAM
Published Online: Sunday, January 1, 2006 [ ]
The Government Accountability Office
(GAO), a nonpartisan arm of Congress,
recently uncovered serious, rampant problems
in a government program that issued
drug cards to Medicare beneficiaries. The
cards were issued by insurance companies
and pharmacy benefit managers
(PBMs). The sponsors had contracts with
the federal government, which approved
their cards and regulated their operations.
The GAO's report highlighted the following
- Information about discount cards,
posted on a government Web site and
sent to beneficiaries, was inaccurate
- Insurance companies and PBMs violated
federal rules by sending out
incomplete, erroneous information
about their own Medicare-approved
- Sponsors of 5 drug cards permitted
beneficiaries to receive funding that
exceeded the statutory maximum of
$600 a year
- Enrollment was lower than expected
due to "confusion and misperceptions
about the drug cards among
In defense of the discount card program,
Mark B. McClellan,MD, PhD, administrator
of the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services, said that the problems
have been addressed and "most submissions
are now accurate."
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