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Medicare Part D’s Medication Therapy Management: Shifting from Neutral to Drive

Safely managing one's medications often brings challenges that are all-too familiar to many older adults and their caregivers.  Yet for persons with Medicare Part D, the voluntary prescription drug benefit, some may be unfamiliar with the benefit's free services to help enrollees most at risk for medication problems.  Part D's medication therapy management (MTM) programs, delivered through drug plans, are designed to help targeted enrollees avoid drug-related problems, and get the most benefit from their medications. However, eligibility and participation rates are considerably lower than expected, and very few persons are receiving comprehensive medication reviews as required under Part D MTM.

This Insight on the Issues, by N. Lee Rucker of AARP’s Public Policy Institute, examines current program requirements, shifting program parameters, and success in several MTM programs outside of Part D.  It also offers policy options to bolster MTM's contribution to beneficiaries' health, and ideally, to the health of the overall Medicare program as well.