CMS Issues New Guidance on Hospice Patient Drugs
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
by: Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

CMS announced July 18 changes to its March 10 guidance on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who elect hospice. In announcing the changes, CMS recognized ongoing operational challenges for Part D sponsors and hospices and, in some cases, barriers to access for beneficiaries. The new CMS guidance strongly encourage sponsors to place beneficiary-level PA requirements on only four categories of prescription drugs identified by the DHHS Office of Inspector General (OIG): analgesics, antinauseants (antiemetics), laxatives, and antianxiety drugs (anxiolytics). This guidance reflects recommendations developed by VNAA and other hospice stakeholders, patient advocacy groups, pharmacy benefit organizations and pharmacy professional organizations. Members of the House and Senate had encouraged CMS to act swiftly to clarify the problems. The modified guidance can be viewed on the "Spotlight" section of the Hospice Center webpage.

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