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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hospice and Access to Medications - New CMS Guidance

Center for Medicare Advocacy
Originally posted April 10, 2014

Here are some excerpts:

Summary

Medications that should be covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit are sometimes paid for by the insurance companies that administer Medicare Part D plans.  To prevent this from happening, effective May 1, 2014, all prescribed medications for hospice patients billed to Medicare Part D will initially be denied coverage.  To get their medications, hospice patients will have to initiate and ultimately succeed at a Medicare appeal.  In other words, to protect insurance companies, dying patients will have to jump through hoops to get medically necessary, potentially life-sustaining medications.

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Conclusion

This burden-shifting to the dying patient is illogical and immoral.

CMS has erred in assuming that most hospice patients will not continue to have Part D covered medications.  Most older Americans are on medications for chronic conditions, and some of these medications...

The entire article is here.

Thanks to Deborah Derrickson Kossmann for this information.
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