February 25, 2008

MAPRx: A Strong National Voice on Medicare Part D

Good Monday morning to you. A lengthy entry to share with you this morning so I'm going to jump right into it. Wishing you all a great day, and a good week ahead.

Until next time, Wick

MAPRx: A Strong National Voice on Medicare Part D

Since 2004, a coalition known as Medicare Access for Patients-Rx -- more commonly known as MAPRx -- has become the unified voice of 32 patient, family caregiver and health professional organizations. Some of the organizations in this coalition include the National Kidney Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation, the Lupus Foundation of America and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

MAPRx offers respected and sought-after expertise and input to policymakers and administrators on issues related specifically to the Medicare prescription drug benefit and people with chronic diseases and disabilities. MAPRx’s targeted online and printed resources offer straightforward information about the Part D benefit and the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) with a special focus on the needs of those with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Below are some of their accomplishments.

Regulatory and Advocacy Accomplishments

MAPRx held regular meetings with key House and Senate committee leadership to inform them of MAPRx actions with CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services), MedPAC (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission), SSA (Social Security Administration) and USP (United States Pharmacopeia). Senate Finance Committee regularly seeks MAPRx input on policy issues.

MAPRx met with executive and senior staff to advocate MMA (Medicare Modernization Act) modifications to respond to needs of MAPRx constituents. MedPAC regularly seeks MAPRx’s input on policy issues.

Social Security Administration
MAPRx advocated changes to LIS policies and procedures to better serve MAPRx constituencies.

Grassroots Survey
MAPRx conducted national grassroots survey of the Part D experiences of beneficiaries with chronic diseases and disabilities.

Communications Accomplishments

Launched and maintain an easy-to-use web portal to a wide variety of Part D resources, including materials developed by MAPRx. The site has received 300,000+ visits since its launch. It is one of only three sites that SSA links to on its Part D website, and has been listed in a number of major newspapers as a valuable resource for beneficiaries.

LIS Outreach Materials
In partnership the Access to Benefits Coalition and National Health Council, MAPRx developed and updated outreach kits to encourage LIS applications. There was broad dissemination to coalition members, health insurance counselors, and the media, and it was posted on website. MAPRx also developed two timelines explaining the multiple mailings received by beneficiaries with LIS during the fall enrollment season, as well as developed educational materials explaining future LIS eligibility for those already receiving the subsidy.

Enrollment Information Materials
MAPRx developed a grassroots Part D orientation kit when the program launched. Additionally, the coalition produced the Open Enrollment Top 12 Questions & Answers in 2006 as well as an updated version of the Q&A in 2007 along with a new version for dual eligible individuals. These materials were mailed to all SHIPS, Congressional district and state offices and the media with broad email distribution to other key stakeholders (see below). 350,000+ copies were distributed by Pfizer to independent pharmacies in 2007.

MAPRx developed partnerships with CMS and the federal Agency on Aging to disseminate outreach and information materials described above to their community-based partners and agencies working directly with beneficiaries. The coalition also distributed relevant materials to Congressional caseworkers via both mail and email.

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