- Health insurers, providers, and consumers will now be able to view spending trends on the prescription drugs that are costing Medicare the most.
- CMS announced it is releasing the data as part of its effort to increase transparency and address concerns about the rising costs of prescription drugs.
- The agency's new online dashboard highlights a selection of Medicare prescription drugs for both Part B and Part D. CMS says it will keep the list updated and it plans to release similar information for Medicaid in the coming year.
First and foremost, the dashboard makes the drug spending trends for CMS-administered programs transparent to the public.
In addition to that, CMS adds, "the data can be used to spur research and public discussion of how these drug products are being used in Medicare and how they are affecting beneficiary costs."
While just a small sample of medications are shown on the dashboard, those highlighted represent a large proportion of Medicare spending: Thirty-three percent of all Part D spending and 71% of all Part B drug spending for 2014. The agency adds prescription drug spending increased by 12% in 2014--more than any year since 2002.
For those drugs included, the dashboard displays information on spending, utilization, trends, product descriptions, manufacturers, and clinical indications.