CMS announced on Monday that full enforcement of the Medicare Part D prescriber enrollment requirement would be postponed until January 1, 2019.
As we previously communicated to our provider network, CMS published a final rule in May 2014 and an interim final rule in May 2015 addressing prescriber enrollment requirements in Medicare. According to CMS, “Prescribers must be enrolled in an active status or validly opted out, except in very limited circumstances, in order for their written prescriptions to be covered under Part D.” CMS previously announced that enforcement of the prescriber enrollment requirement would begin on February 1, 2017. Monday’s announcement extends that date.
“While CMS is committed to the implementation of the prescriber enrollment requirements, CMS also recognizes the need to minimize the impact on the beneficiary population and ensure beneficiaries have access to the care they need,” CMS stated in their announcement.
In the meantime, CMS is working on a phased approach and updating the enrollment application process to make it easier for providers to quickly enroll online in Medicare for the purpose of prescribing Part D drugs.
We will continue to update you with any additional information as we receive it from CMS. If you have already made an opt-in/opt-out choice this year, you will get a chance to choose again before the new deadline. Although the full enforcement date is January 2019, CMS encourages all eligible professionals who prescribe Part D drugs, but are not yet enrolled or validly opted out of Medicare, to enroll in the Medicare Program.