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March 06, 2019

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

Washington, DC (March 5, 2019) —

On November 26, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published their proposed rule, Contract Year (CY) 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Drug Pricing Proposed Rule (CMS-4180-P) which, according to CMS, contains potential policies that will modernize Part D and Medicare Advantage to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The CMS-prepared fact sheet and the proposed rule are still available online.

In response to the proposed rule, on November 29, 2019 the National Minority Quality Forum released the following statement:

“Quality care for all Americans, especially for patients and communities who already face structural and societal barriers to accessing medical treatment, depends on patient protections that are enshrined in critical government programs. The six protected classes of drugs under the Medicare Part D program broaden the availability of effective treatments for patient populations, resulting in successful health outcomes and reduced longer term costs for patients and insurers. The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) believes that the value of policy and regulatory changes must be assessed by examining the impact of those changes on the outcomes of care in patients and communities. NMQF is concerned that CMS’ proposed changes will reduce these protections, threatening the health and welfare of millions of seniors. NMQF is available to work with CMS to identify policy options that are clinically valid and financially feasible for beneficiaries and their families.”

Although the public comment period for this proposed rule closed on January 25 2019, the National Minority Quality Forum encourages all stakeholders on this issue to continue to engage with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, your elected members in the House and the Senate, and other advocacy groups to give voice to your perspectives.

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About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The Forum’s vision is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. The Forum helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations. For additional information, please contact Gretchen Clark Wartman, Vice President for Policy and Program, at 202-223-7560 or