We are sharing three updates of developments that we want to make sure you are aware.
Medicare Comment Period Ends Monday
You have until this Monday (April 6th) at 5 pm Eastern time to comment on some proposed technical changes in Medicare and Medicaid Programs. They call for technical changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly
This proposed rule would revise regulations for the Medicare Advantage (Part C) program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) program, Medicaid program, Medicare Cost Plan program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to implement certain sections of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, and the 21st Century Cures Act. This proposed rule would also enhance the Part C and D programs, codify several existing CMS policies, and implement other technical changes.
Canada Eases Opioid Restrictions
Chronic Pain Advocate Richard “Red” Lawhern PhD sent this note around from Health Canada which has eased opioid prescribing restriction. His suggestion—a sound one—is to let your State Medical Board know what they have done.
Health Canada’s concessions for opiate medications during the Covid-19 pandemic are a start – but only a start.
In an edict issued March 19th, Health Canada is allowing pharmacists to:
- extend opiate prescriptions to pain patients.
- transfer prescriptions to other pharmacies.
- accept verbal subscriptions over the phone from physicians.
- deliver opiates directly to the patient.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Care?
We should have asked before now, but we’re interested in how the COVID-19 public health emergency impacted your medical care?
Is your doctor more or less available to you because of the COVID-19 public health emergency?
Are you having more or less problems getting your prescriptions filled?
Are you working with your doctor/nurse practitioner/practice through telemedicine? If so, is it working well or badly?
We will publish some of the responses.
Thanks and Be Safe!