CMS Works to Increase Government Data Transparency

The CMS reveals Medicare Part D prescription drug costs for the second year in a row.

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a report that outlines prescription drug cost data for Medicare Part D for 2014.

This is the second year in a row they have released this report with a goal of increasing data transparency. The report includes which prescription drugs were prescribed to Medicare Part D enrollees by healthcare providers.

The data includes information from 1 million healthcare providers for 38 million Part D enrollees. Approximately 70% of Medicare enrollees are covered by Part D.

Information was collected from Medicare Advantage Prescription drug plans and stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans, according to the CMS. These providers collectively prescribed $121 billion in prescription drugs in 2014, which was a 17% increase from the previous year.

However, the report noted that the prescription drug trend only rose 12.6% during this time. With this new information, the CMS states that additional analyses about brand and generic prescribing rates and differences in drug utilization and costs will be conducted.

“With this data release, patients, researchers and providers can access valuable information about the Medicare prescription drug program,” said Niall Brennan, CMS chief data officer. “Today’s release joins a series of actions the Administration is taking to improve transparency around government data, including the cost of prescription drugs.”