Lawsuit seeks to lift ban so providers can help with Part D decisions

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Providers should be able to help Medicare Part D beneficiaries — particularly those with cognitive problems — pick their prescription drug plans, a new lawsuit asserts.

The lawsuit seeks to block the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing Part D marketing rules, which prohibit providers from directing or persuading beneficiaries to make certain drug plan choices. The Washington Legal Foundation, a nonprofit public interest law firm in Washington, DC, filed the lawsuit in federal district court.

In May, CMS instructed state surveyors to issue citations to nursing homes found violating the prohibition. WLF, a nonprofit public interest law firm based in Washington, DC, argues that many beneficiaries, especially those in long-term care facilities or with cognitive impairments, often rely on their healthcare providers for help in making decisions such as health plan choices.