Prescription Drug Reporting

Last week, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services rolled back two non-enforcement policies related to the machine-readable file requirements included in the transparency in coverage (TIC) final rules: (1) deferred enforcement of the requirement that health plans post a machine-readable file listing negotiated rates and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs, and (2) an enforcement safe harbor with respect to the requirement that dollar amounts be listed in the in-network rate machine-readable file for items and services for which it is difficult to ascertain dollar amounts in advance. The guidance was released in the form of FAQs, which can be viewed here.

By way of brief background, for plan years starting on or after July 1, 2022, non-grandfathered health plans are required to post three machine-readable files (updated monthly) covering the following: (1) in-network rates (expressed as a dollar amount) for covered items and services, (2) allowed amounts for covered items and services furnished by out-of-network providers, and (3) negotiated rates and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs. 

“Didn’t we just do this?” might be the first question asked by many health plan sponsors and administrators when gearing up to complete 2022 prescription drug reporting by June 1, 2023.  The answer to that question is both “yes” and “no.”  Yes, because group health plans were required to complete prescription drug reporting for the 2020 and 2021 reference years by January 31, 2023. No, because the agencies released revised instructions for reporting 2022 year data—meaning the reporting exercise for 2022 may be a little different than the last go-around.

Just three short days before the December 27th deadline for health plans and issuers to report prescription drug and health care spending information to the government, on December 23, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) issued undoubtedly welcome reporting relief for health plans and issuers facing difficulty