Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988

R B Greenberg
American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy 1988, 45 (12): 2518-25
The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 is described, and implications for pharmacy are discussed. The Catastrophic Coverage Act, which will be phased in between 1989 and 1993, provides for the following benefits for Medicare beneficiaries: Under Part A, a single annual deductible and an unlimited number of days for inpatient care and covered services and improved benefits for hospice and skilled-nursing-care facilities; under Part B, a limit on out-of-pocket expenses, improved home-care benefits (including home i.v. therapy), and an outpatient prescription benefit. Long-term care was not addressed in this legislation; benefits for extended-care services were expanded, but they apply only to an acute illness. The new benefit for outpatient prescriptions provides for payment for both the drug product and professional services by the pharmacy. The benefits will be financed through a supplemental premium to be paid by all individuals who are eligible for Part A. The pharmacy profession should work with the Department of Health and Human Services in implementing the Act to ensure that this opportunity results in improved patient care through the wise application of pharmaceutical services.

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