Chain Pharmacy Plans Medicare Rx Outreach

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

A new outreach program supportedby the chain drugstore industry willcounsel Medicare beneficiaries to helpthem sift through their Rx coverageoptions when the new Medicare Part Dprescription drug program takes effecton January 1, 2006.

The initiative is being implementedby the National Association of ChainDrug Stores (NACDS) in collaborationwith technology services providerInformed Decisions. It is expected tobe particularly valuable for dual-eligiblebeneficiaries whose prescriptiondrug benefits will transition from Medicaidto Medicare.

Under the new Beneficiary CenteredEnrollment (BCE) program, thesedual-eligible patients will be able to"turn to their retail pharmacist, who isavailable without an appointment andunderstands their medication needs, tohelp them with their plan decisions,"NACDS President Craig Fuller said.

The BCE program will access historicaldrug utilization data and comparethe benefits offered by the plans withthe medications and pharmacies currentlyused by dual-eligible beneficiaries,chain drug officials explained. Apersonalized "scorecard," including analphabetical list of plans and how eachmatches up with individual needs, willbe generated and mailed to beneficiaries,providing valuable information toaid in final plan selection.

In addition, community pharmacistswill be able to access the BCE Website to assist beneficiaries with the reenrollmentprocess and to providecounseling on plans at the point ofcare, NACDS officials said.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.