CMS proposes to update e-prescribing standards to reduce provider burden and expedite access to needed medications
Proposed rule would implement key provision of the Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve patients’ access to needed medications by updating the prior authorization process for Medicare Part D, the program that provides coverage for prescription drugs that beneficiaries pick up at a pharmacy counter. The prior authorization process requires that providers supply additional clinical information to verify that the medication can be covered under the Medicare Part D benefit. The process promotes better clinical decision-making and helps ensure that patients receive medically necessary prescription drugs. The proposed rule would update the Part D e-prescribing program by adopting standards that ensure secure transmissions and expedite prior authorizations.
“Improving patients’ access to prescription drugs is a top priority for CMS,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “This proposed rule would reduce the time it takes for a patient to receive needed medications and ease the prescriber burden by giving clinicians the flexibility and choice to complete prior authorization transactions electronically.”
Under the proposed change, clinicians would be able to choose to complete prior authorizations online, reducing burden for providers through a more streamlined process for performing prior authorization for Part D prescriptions. Clinicians who select the electronic option will typically be able to satisfy the terms of a prior authorization in real time and before a prescription is transmitted to a pharmacy. This is so patients do not arrive at a pharmacy counter only to find that their prescription cannot be filled.
The proposed rule would implement new prior authorization transaction standards for the Part D e-Prescribing program as required by the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. The proposed standards would begin in January 2021. If finalized, all Medicare Part D plans would be required to support electronic prior authorization transaction standards that were developed by the National Council for Prescription Drug Plans (NCPDP).
The proposed rule (CMS-4189-P) can be downloaded from the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/06/19/2019-13028/medicare-program-secure-electronic-prior-authorization-for-medicare-part-d.