Providers praise newly released prescription drug benefit rule

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Some provider advocates are reacting positively to the recently released prescription drug benefit rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, lauding it for its treatment of the long-term care community.

"In regard to formulating a new Medicare prescription drug benefit that recognizes the special needs of residents in long term care settings, CMS is to be commended for its extensive outreach - and working hard to get it right," Hal Daub, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said in a press release Friday.

While their initial review is favorable, AHCA and other stakeholders said it would still take some time to fully analyze the lengthy regulations.

The rules -– known as Medicare Part D rules –- are the foundation of a program that could cover the drug expenses of some 11 million low-income older and disabled Americans.

The plan guarantees that beneficiaries living in nursing homes will be able to enroll in a drug plan and provides automatic enrollment for people eligible for both full Medicaid and Medicare benefits to avoid gaps in coverage.