CMS letter offers new guidance to Part D plans

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has asked sponsors of Part D and Medicare Advantage plans to comment on a draft combined call letter issued earlier this month.

The letter gives sponsors guidance to help prepare for changes that will take effect in 2009. Among the guidance: It notes that there is a slight modification to CMS's policy regarding the six classes of prescription drugs that must be included on formularies. Also, it mentions that the 2009 Part D formulary submission deadline is April 21.

The call letter also contains specific directions for Medicare Advantage special needs plans, which are offered to dual eligibles and those in institutions. In the 2009 call letter, CMS offers a list of eight components for SNPs to consider for their model of care, including a specialized provider network and a comprehensive risk assessment.