On September 1, 2011, CMS published a final rule implementing certain provisions of the Medicare Improvements to Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 that revise Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit regulations (note that these provisions were addressed previously through a series of interim final rules in 2008 and a final rule with comment period in 2009). Among other things, the final rule strengthens MA and Part D plan marketing requirements, including limits on agent/broker commissions; finalizes requirements that Private Fee-for-Service plans contract with a sufficient number and range of providers to meet access and availability standards; and clarifies various standards for Medicare Special Needs Plans. Except as otherwise specified, these regulations are effective on October 31, 2011.