Federal watchdogs say the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should do a better job of overseeing Medicare Part D prescription drug program marketing efforts.
Officials in the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services contend in a review of marketing materials for Medicare prescription drug plans that CMS should conduct and complete more frequent reviews of marketing materials that are already in consumers’ hands.
CMS depends heavily on backward-looking “retrospective reviews” to determine whether marketing materials meet its standards, but the agency did not review 2006 “file and use” materials until April 2008, OIG officials write in a summary of their findings.
The officials based their findings on an analysis of marketing materials from 115 randomly selected Medicare drug plans.
OIG officials found that 85% of the marketing materials reviewed failed to meet at least one element of the CMS marketing material guidelines:
- 79% of advertisements prepared by insurer-pharmacy teams failed to include a required statement that other pharmacies were also available.
- 42% of the pharmacy directories did not tell beneficiaries what to do if mail-order service was delayed.