Purpose: To provide an overview of Medicare Part D and useful practice information for healthcare providers to help guide Medicare beneficiaries when choosing a Part D plan.
Data sources: Documents written by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Kaiser Family Foundation, and United States Department of Health & Human Services.
Conclusions: Although Medicare Part D can provide assistance with prescription drug costs to Medicare beneficiaries, the transition to Medicare Part D in 2006 will be challenging for both beneficiaries and healthcare providers. It is important that both Medicare beneficiaries and healthcare providers understand the complex drug benefit to facilitate the transition to Medicare Part D.
Implications for practice: It is likely that Medicare Part D formularies will require adjustments to many Medicare beneficiaries’ medication regimens. Additionally, it is possible that there will be an increase in the number of prior authorizations and other requirements such as step therapy requests.