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 The New Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of the New Program
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Program Description
In the fall of 2005, Medicare beneficiaries may begin to voluntarily enroll in the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program, which will start on January 1, 2006. This continuing education (CE) program is the first of two CE monographs that will provide details on how the program will be structured and operated at the pharmacy level. Pharmacists will need to understand this new program and how it will affect the current prescription drug coverage that Medicare beneficiaries might currently have.

Pharmacists will be on the front lines in answering questions about this program for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. This first program will focus on the overall structure of the new Part D program, provide information about eligibility and enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries, describe the nature and scope of drug coverage that Medicare beneficiaries might expect to obtain under Medicare Part D, provide information about how Medicare beneficiaries can appeal “coverage” decisions, and help the pharmacist understand concepts relating to “True out of pocket” spending for prescription drugs.

by John M. Coster, Ph.D., R.Ph.
John Coster, Ph.D., R.Ph., is Vice President of Policy and Programs with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He is responsible for policy relating to federal and state health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as federal regulatory issues working closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is a 1984 graduate of St. John’s University College of Pharmacy in New York and received his Masters and Ph.D. in Health Policy from the University of Maryland.

Faculty Disclosure
The NACDS Foundation has a conflict of interest policy that requires course faculty to disclose any real or apparent commercial financial affiliations related to the content of their presentations/materials.

The authors, sponsor, and publisher of this continuing education program have made all reasonable efforts to ensure that information contained herein is accurate in accordance with the latest available knowledge at the time of accreditation of this continuing education program. Information regarding the implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-173) is subject to change, and the reader is advised to check the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ website on Medicare at www.medicare.gov.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be better able to:
  1. Provide a general description of the new Medicare drug benefit under Part D to a Medicare beneficiary;
  2. Describe the process and procedures by which a Medicare beneficiary would enroll in the new Part D program;
  3. Describe the standard drug benefit design under the new Medicare Part D program;
  4. Explain the processes that plans will use to develop their formularies and the appeals process that will be available to beneficiaries under Part D; and,
  5. Describe the concept of True out of pocket drug spending and understand its relationship to the new Part D prescription drug benefit.

Target Audience
This program is appropriate for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who work directly with Medicare beneficiaries.

Course Category This activity has been designated as Knowledge-Based
Technologies Used

Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader
Monograph Monograph

Price: FREE!
ACPE Accreditation
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Foundation is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This home study web activity has been assigned a maximum of 2 credit hours (0.2 CEU) and the ACPE UAN: 206-000-05-500-H03.

Expiration Date: 04/04/2008

Release Date: 04/11/2005

To receive educational credit, participants must pass the online assessment with a score of 70% or better. If you do not receive a minimum score of 70% or better, you are permitted to retake the test. After passing the assessment, you can view, print and track your statements of credit online. There is no fee to participate in this activity.

The material presented here does not reflect the views of Pharmacy Choice, Inc., RxSchool, or the companies providing educational content. These materials may discuss uses and dosages for therapeutic products, processes, procedures and inferred diagnoses that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. A qualified health care professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product discussed. All readers and continuing education participants should verify all information and data before treating patients or employing any therapies described in this continuing education activity.

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