Creating Value in Medicare Part D

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<p>In a recent Commonwealth Fund-supported <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=30755&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecommonwealthfund%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D600578%26%23doc600578">article</a> in <em>Health Affairs,</em> two health policy experts proposed steps for restructuring the Medicare prescription drug benefit and putting Part D on a more value-driven path.<br><br>Ruth Lopert, a 2006-07 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, and Marilyn Moon, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, argue that a long-term objective should be to integrate drug benefits with comprehensive health coverage, by melding Medicare Parts A, B, and D into a single benefit.<br><br>But a number of intermediate steps, they say, deserve consideration as well, such as: lifting the current ban on price negotiations with drug manufacturers; establishing an agency to compare the effectiveness of therapies and cost-effectiveness; and establishing a "no frills," stand-alone drug plan, sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to compete with the private plans.</p>