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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers May 25, 2017
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - Finance Committee Approves Sen. Roberts' Amendment Improving Medication Use for Medicare Patients - May 25, 2017

Pharmacy News Article

 5/19/17 - Finance Committee Approves Sen. Roberts' Amendment Improving Medication Use for Medicare Patients

WASHINGTON, May 18 The office of Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., issued the following news release:

In a Finance Committee mark-up on bipartisan legislation improving Medicare for seniors with chronic conditions, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today introduced an amendment with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) to promote the appropriate use of medications to improve patient safety and to prevent avoidable health care costs.

"Taking too much or not enough of prescribed medication leads to avoidable health care costs of almost $300 billion," said Roberts. "If we want to truly bend the healthcare cost curve and improve health around the nation, we must proactively address the public health issue of non-adherence, which is what our amendment seeks to do."

The Roberts-Carper amendment directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a process by which Medicare prescription drug plans can request Parts A and B claims data to assist with identification and care coordination of individuals at risk of medication-related problems, while ensuring the security of personal health information. Medication adherence is the lowest among the chronically ill.

Roberts' amendment and the underlying bill, the Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act, was approved by the committee with a unanimous vote of 26-0.

Roberts' full remarks are below:

Recent research indicates that suboptimal medication use - taking too much or not taking enough of prescribed medication - leads to avoidable annual health care costs of almost $300 billion due to additional health care utilization, such as emergency room visits, hospital readmissions, or post-acute care.

If we want to truly bend the healthcare cost curve and improve health around the nation, we must proactively address the public health issue of non-adherence.

Adherence is also lowest among the chronically ill, which is why Senator Carper and I saw an opportunity to help address this issue in the context of the Chronic Care legislation.

Our amendment directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a process by which Medicare prescription drug plans can request Parts A and B claims data to promote the appropriate use of medications and improved health outcomes.

Under a CMMI demonstration program on Medication Therapy Management, certain plans can already request this information to assist with identification and care coordination of individuals at risk of medication-related problems.

Our amendment builds upon this to allow all drug plans access to this data for these purposes, while ensuring we protect the security of personal health information.

I would like to thank Senator Carper for working on this issue with me and would request our colleagues support this amendment.

The text of the amendment is available here (https://www.roberts.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File-id=11A98978-BAE4-4E9B-9422-ABF0BFBAE05C).



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