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Your source for the latest updates from Capitol Hill. We translate policy into practice so you can learn how policy trends will affect your work and how best to prepare.

Rep. Murphy Calls CMS to Task for Proposal Limiting Mental Health Drug Access

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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA) has written to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking the agency to justify its decision to strip key mental health drugs of their protected status in Medicare. Stating that “the CMS proposal appears not to be grounded in a concern over beneficiary health,” Murphy asked the agency to account for the rationale behind its controversial proposal issued earlier this month.

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CMS Proposes to Strip Mental Health Drugs of Protected Status in Part D

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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week announced a proposed rule that would eliminate protected status for antidepressants and antipsychotics in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

The proposed rule, announced Monday, revises prior agency policy that required Part D plans to include on their formularies “all or substantially all” drugs within six classes: antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, antineoplastics, and immunosuppressants. This policy, known as the “six protected classes” policy, has been in effect since the inception of Part D and has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in Congress.

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