Another Delay in Implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescriber Enrollment Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services finalized a rule in March 2014 that required healthcare providers prescribing medication, where the prescription is paid for by a Medicare Part D plan, to enroll in Medicare as a prescriber. The enforcement date has been delayed several times and was slated to take effect on February 1, 2017, but has recently been delayed again until January 1, 2019.

 

Under the final rule, if a provider is not enrolled in Medicare as a prescriber, the patient’s prescribed drugs will not be covered by the Part D plan. Part D plans will be required to notify patients that the prescriber is not enrolled and the plan will not cover prescriptions from that provider. The most recent delay is aimed at ensuring that prescribers are aware of the rule and reduce the immediate burden placed on the estimated 250,000 prescribers not enrolled in Medicare and the 5.25 million beneficiaries that would be impacted.  

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Healthcare Entities Required to Post New Non-Discrimination Notice

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits health care entities from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The ACA prohibition on discrimination applies to covered entities, which means those healthcare entities that receive federal financial assistance through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). For example, a covered entity includes a physician or pharmacy that accepts Medicare or Medicaid, health insurers that offer a plan on the healthcare exchange, and any entity that offers a Medicare part D plan.

In an effort to enforce the non-discrimination law, HHS issued a new rule in May of 2016 that requires all covered entities to post new non-discrimination notices. Although the rule was finalized in May of 2016, health care entities had until October 16, 2016 to post a new notice of non-discrimination. The new notice must state that the health care entity does not discriminate, that language assistance for the patient is available, and delineate how an individual can file a discrimination complaint with HHS. The new notice is intended to decrease discrimination by helping consumers become more aware of their rights.

For further information or to find example HHS non-discrimination notices, visit the following link:
http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/translated-resources/index.html

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