Federal Trade Commission staff, in response to a request for public comment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), submitted comments on March 7, 2014 on CMS’s proposed changes in contracting for Medicare Part D. CMS announced yesterday that it will delay finalizing certain portions of the proposed rule, including the “any willing pharmacy” provisions, pending further stakeholder input.
The staff comment suggested that CMS reconsider a proposal to implement an “any willing pharmacy” provision, and further examine whether such provisions are likely to benefit Part D beneficiaries and the Part D program. According to the comment by staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics, health plans’ ability to construct networks that include some, but not all, providers can be an important tool to enhance competition and lower costs in markets for health care goods and services.
The Commission vote to issue the staff comment was 3-1, with Commissioner Brill dissenting. (FTC File No. P141201; the staff contacts are Daniel J. Gilman, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-3136, and David R. Schmidt, Bureau of Economics, 202-326-2781).
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