Medicare Monday: A closer look at Part B spending

Nicole Longo
Nicole Longo March 13, 2017


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Earlier this month, MedPAC discussed Part B drug spending growth but neglected to put this information in the context of overall program spending. Spending on Part B medicines continues to be a small and stable share of spending. Here are the facts.

First, let’s look at spending on Part B drugs in the context of all Medicare spending. According to MedPAC’s June 2016 Data Book, Part B drug spending was just 3 percent of total Medicare spending. To flip that stat, 97 percent of Medicare spending was spent on things other than Part B drugs.

Let’s also look at spending on Part B drugs in the context of all Part B spending. It turns out that Part B drugs were only 10 percent of total Part B spending in 2014. That’s according to MedPAC and the Medicare Trustees report. In fact, Part B drug spending has historically been a stable share of overall Part B spending and is expected to remain so in the future.part_b_spending_slide_2.png

Part B medicines are often relied on by some of the sickest and most vulnerable patients – patients with conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, mental illness and autoimmune conditions. While the Medicare Part B program helps ensure patients can access these complex, innovative medicines, it also works to moderate spending.

Learn more about Part B at PhRMA.org/PartB.

Topics: Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B