CMS enlists pharmacies to advertise free Medicare benefits

Amednews: By CHARLES FIEGL, amednews staff. Posted Aug. 31, 2012.

Washington Federal health officials have partnered with pharmacies to distribute information to Medicare patients about coverage benefits and preventive health services.

CVS Caremark, Walgreens and other national drugstore chains are distributing Medicare brochures and other materials describing benefits for physician services to patients picking up medication orders. Since 2011, the Medicare program has waived co-payments and deductibles for certain preventive care. Tens of millions of patients have taken advantage of services with no added out-of-pocket costs, such as vaccinations and health screenings, but millions of others are unaware of or decline to receive the free care.

“Our pharmacy partners are helping their customers make informed health care decisions,” said Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These partnerships will help people with Medicare learn more about new preventive services such as mammograms and the new annual wellness visit that are available at no charge for everyone with Medicare.” Read more