TAKE ACTION NOW TO PROTECT MEDICARE DRUG COVERAGE
- COMMENTS DUE THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 7TH AT 5PM ET -
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule to change the Part D prescription drug coverage available to seniors under the Medicare program. The rule would remove the “protected class” status of antidepressants and immunosuppressant drug classes, and potentially remove protection for antipsychotics after 2015. (For the CMS fact sheet on the rule, please click here.)
This issue is critical for family caregivers, especially those who care for patients facing mental illness and/or challenged immune systems. Patients with lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, psoriasis and other immune disorders may lose access to prescriptions that are needed to treat their conditions. Likewise, patients and caregivers over the age of 65 facing major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions will have less access to the drugs they need and less flexibility to change drugs if their medication isn’t working.
The National Alliance for Caregiving has joined numerous organizations in asking CMS to reject the proposed rule. Please see the letter from the Healthcare Leadership Council, which the National Alliance for Caregiving signed and supports, by clicking here.
We encourage you to take action by writing to CMS to let them know your concerns about the proposed changes to the Medicare Part D program. Write to CMS by clicking here. Comments are due by 5pm ET on Friday, March 7, 2014.
RECENT NEWS & EVENTS
- Better Work, Better Care: How Employers Can Support Family Caregiving: The National Alliance for Caregiving recently hosted a free webinar on building caregiver-friendly workplace policies in your state. Bringing together caregiving experts and employers from the national ReACT Coalition, the webinar discussed how caregiving advocates can work with employers to raise awareness of the needs facing working family caregivers. Click here for the webinar replay! Click here to view the Better Work, Better Care Webinar slides.
- From Plan to Practice: Implementing NAPA in Your State: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) and the National Alliance for Caregiving hosted a conference and webcast to implement the caregiver provisions in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease at the state and local level. The conference featured federal and state policy makers who have developed comprehensive plans to provide supports and services to people with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers. Federal and state experts provided tools and strategies on how best to implement these action steps on the state level. To view the meeting materials and presentation slides, please click here. Many Thanks to Our Program Sponsors: Eli Lilly, Novartis, and the Alliance for Aging Research.
- Supporting Family Caregivers of Veterans: This webinar features information on the Pfizer Patient Assistant Program and the National Veteran Caregiver Training Program, initiatives that the Alliance has partnered with in an ongoing effort to improve patient care. Presenters included Margaret Kabat, Deputy Director, Caregiver Services, Department of Veterans Affairs and Jed Johnson, MSW, MBA, the Director of the National Veteran Caregiver Training Program with Easter Seals. Click here to access the webinar replay.
- Commission on Long-Term Care Webinar: NAC’s President and CEO, Gail Hunt, presented on the congressional Commission on Long-Term Care and its findings and recommendations. George Vradenburg, one of the commissioners, also spoke about his experience in dealing with the many divergent political views of the group and how many of them came to consensus. Click here to access the webinar replay. You can also view the slides from this webinar by clicking here.