As I describe in CMS Wants It That Way: Big Medicare Part D Pharmacy Changes, CMS wanted far-reaching revisions that would have effectively killed preferred pharmacy networks. Medicare Part D is the rare government program that generally works wells and has widespread support from seniors. CMS proposed so many other changes that it created a diverse opposition, including a bipartisan group in Congress.
The final 2014 open enrollment data for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) document the consumer appeal of preferred pharmacy networks. Consistent with the preliminary numbers, three out of four (75%) seniors enrolled in a PDP with a preferred pharmacy network design. See the updated summary—and the full text of CMS’s about-face—below. Plus, you can see our exclusive behind-the-scenes video of CMS's deliberations.