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More pressure on Part D plans

Greater emphasis on quality might lead to the dropping of some Medicare Advantage drug plans from the program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services changed the way it evaluated Part D plans last month, and 28 percent of drug plans that will be available to Medicare enrollees in 2012 get fewer than three stars out of a possible five (for excellent). There are about 1,500 stand-alone Part D plans in the country. CMS notified the low performers that unless there is improvement, they could find themselves shut out of the program, thanks to a new rule that allows the agency to expel drug plans with three or fewer stars for three consecutive years.

Percentage of Part D plans with fewer than three stars, by state

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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