DRUG DISCOUNT CARD UPDATE
- CMS Responds to Beneficiary and Advocate Concerns -
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided the following updated information about the Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount card program at the May 26, 2004, meeting of the Coordinating Committee, National Medicare Education Program (NMEP):
CMS has approved 73 general cards, i.e., cards that are available to all people with Medicare.
Prices are displayed on the Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Program (PDAP) folder of www.medicare.gov for 66 cards.
CMS has approved 84 "exclusive" cards, i.e., cards offered by Medicare HMOs and other Medicare Advantage (formerly Medicare+Choice) plans.
CMS has approved several cards as special endorsement cards, i.e., cards that are offered to specific populations, either residents of long-term care facilities, individuals who get care through Indian Health Service, or residents of the territories.
CMS also provided updates about access to 1-800-MEDICARE and information on the PDAP web site:
- Drugs people use are not included in the list of pharmaceuticals
- The prices on the web site do not match the prices quoted by pharmacies or card sponsors
- Pharmacies listed as participating in a card say they are not participating
- The dictionary of pharmaceuticals has been expanded
- They have added a pop-up box that explains what to do if a drug does not appear on the list
- Card information is taken off the web site if CMS finds problems with the data, either pricing or pharmacy networks. The information is added when problems are corrected.
- Additional customer service representatives (CSRs) have been added through the 1-800-MEDICARE contractor
- CMS has routed calls to 11 of its fee-for-service contractors with large call centers
- Provided expedited PDAP training for new CSRs who handle only PDAP questions; other questions go to CSRs with more experience. These new CSRs will receive full training in the future
The standard enrollment forms are now available on www.medicare.gov
The Center for Medicare Advocacy will continue to provide additional information about the discount drug card program as it becomes available. This information was current when written, on May 26, 2004.
© Copyright, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.