Sen. Schumer latest to endorse MTM legislation

Legislation would create MTM reimbursement mechanism under Medicare Part D

WASHINGTON — Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday became the 11th senator to sign on as a co-sponsor for the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2011. The legislation was first introduced in February by Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.

S. 274 seeks to enhance a pharmacy's ability to partner with patients around counseling and medication therapy management services with the goal of increasing medication adherence. "Failure to take medications as prescribed costs over $290 billion annually. The problem of nonadherence is particularly important for patients with chronic diseases that require use of medications," the bill reads.

The bill would enable any pharmacy participating in the network of a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to offer medication therapy management services and be reimbursed for those services based on "the resources used and the time required to provide such services."

"This bill will allow more seniors to bring all of their medications to the pharmacy and ensure they are following their medication regimens," Hagan stated in introducing the bill earlier this year. "If more seniors are educated to properly follow their doctor's orders, we can save lives and Medicare dollars. In North Carolina, these programs have saved millions of dollars, and our seniors have avoided countless healthcare complications."

The legislation was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance in February.

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