Medicare Monday: A closer look at Part B spending

Nicole Longo   |     March 13, 2017   |   SHARE THIS


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.

Nicole Longo

Nicole Longo Nicole is senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Topics: Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B

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