NCCS joined with patient advocacy organizations in the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC) in submitting comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed Part B drug payment demonstration project. Over many years, the CLC has advocated reforms in Medicare reimbursement for cancer care, to support the delivery of evidence-based care that honors the needs and wishes of cancer patients.
In our letter, we recommended that CMS consider implementing a centralized acquisition program in the first phase of the project. Despite the previous unsuccessful experience with the previous competitive acquisition program, we think it holds promise going forward. A centralized acquisition program, if it can be implemented successfully, could potentially address the concerns of providers and patients by ensuring access to part B drugs for cancer patients in practices of all sizes and structure and in all geographic locations.
For patients, the centralized acquisition program is attractive because it would address the ability of any provider to obtain all drugs and would ensure there are no economic barriers to prescribing the best drug for any patient. In addition, the competitive acquisition program eliminates the margin that exists in the average sales price (ASP)-based system and would provide for a clear comparison with the ASP-based payments that would be retained in some practices in the demonstration. These two options would permit an important evaluation of incentives for high value care.
Read the full letter below.
Download the letter [PDF]