WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today introduced legislation to lower health care costs and strengthen patient choice in their treatment plans.
The bill would launch a shared patient savings program with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to drive down insurance costs for patients under Medicare Part D. The program would reward patients and provide them with a portion of the financial savings if they choose to switch to a less expensive medicine that maintains the same health benefits as a more expensive medicine.
“If patients with insurance choose a better medicine with a better price, they should enjoy a part of the savings,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This encourages competition, lowers the cost of health care, and puts patients in control.”
“This is a win-win bill: Medicare spends less money on prescription drugs, and patients receive rewards for switching to a doctor-approved, lower cost drug,” said Senator Hassan. “Given the exorbitant cost of prescription drugs along with an increasingly aging population, I’m glad to be working across the aisle on commonsense measures like this to support our seniors while saving taxpayer dollars.”
If all the financial savings go to the insurance plan, there is little incentive for Medicare Part D patients to switch to a more cost effective drug with the same health benefits. By empowering patients to make these smart decisions, premiums can be lowered as competition is leveraged to lower drug prices and health care expenditures.