Study questions Part D impact

A new study finds that Medicare Part D restricts the choice of drugs available to participants in some cases. The research, which looks at California plans, finds that the they offer participants a generally narrower selection of medications than they would be eligible for under Medi-Cal, the state program for low-income residents. The study was conducted by Washington-based Avalere Health for the California Health Care Foundation.

In a press conference yesterday, CMS administrator Mark McClellan criticized the report's findings. "The concern I would have is implying that because not every cholesterol drug is covered, that the plans aren't providing access to needed drugs," he said. "If that is the conclusion people draw, that is a misleading conclusion."

- see this article from The Los Angeles Times