America’s Health Insurance Plans says it has come up with a new form that shows member companies’ commitment to improving the new Medicare Part D program.

Consumer advocates and doctors have complained that patients who need drugs off the formularies, or covered drug lists, of carriers participating in the Medicare prescription drug program have had to file long, complicated forms, and that each carrier has had its own form.

The formulary forms problem is particularly challenging because insurers have the legal right to drop drugs from formularies after Medicare beneficiaries sign up for coverage, program critics say.

AHIP, Washington, says members of AHIP advisory councils have worked quickly with representatives from the American Medical Association, Washington, to develop a standardized form that doctors can use to request prior authorization and coverage for non-formulary drugs.

“Many health insurance plans are expected to begin incorporating this new form immediately,” AHIP says.