Pharmacy conference sheds light on Medicare drug benefit

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Experts in long-term care pharmacy addressed the implication of the Medicare drug benefit for long-term care residents at a conference in Dallas last month.

The conference, which was presented by the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, offered background information about the long-term care market, including demographic, clinical, regulatory and payment issues. Companies that are considering becoming Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans attended.

Currently, about 70% of long-term care residents are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. When the Medicare prescription drug program takes effect in January of 2006, Medicaid coverage for medications for these dual eligible individuals ends.

"This conference provided potential PDP and MA-PD sponsors the opportunity to evaluate the implications of these issues on the development of a successful Medicare prescription drug benefit, and to assess alternative approaches to the challenges presented," said Marissa Schlaifer, director of pharmacy affairs for the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.