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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Tighten Rules on Nursing Home Prescriptions

Over-medicating of older adults, especially those in nursing homes, has come to light in news and studies across the nation. And now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are taking steps to make sure that Medicare Part D is not part of the problem.

According to an article on McKnights.com, CMS has issued a proposed rule that will help control the prescription drug program. To date, CMS has left oversight of Plan D to the private health plans that administer it. But with this new rule, prescribers would have to be enrolled in Medicare in order for their prescriptions to be cover by Part D. Through a certification process, CMS would have the power to check that qualified prescribers are issuing Part D drugs. If abusive practices were discovered, CMS could revoke prescribers’ enrollment, as well.

The rule would also allow CMS to gather prescription records, invoices, and other documents from pharmacies rather than through Plan D prescribers, as another way of combating abuse and fraud. The rule will be published this week in the Federal Register.