NCCS recently submitted comments on the Senate Finance Committee’s “Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group Policy Options Document” in response to the working group’s request for comments on possible policy options outlined in its report. Formed in May 2015, the working group is seeking ideas on how Medicare can improve the care of beneficiaries with multiple, complex chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and end-stage renal disease and asked stakeholders last summer for their thoughts. (NCCS submitted comments in response to that request last June.) After reviewing hundreds of comments submitted, the working group released its policy options document in December for further comment with the ultimate goal of developing legislation for the full Finance Committee to review.
The NCCS comments, like the comments from the Cancer Leadership Council which NCCS signed along with many other organizations, make the point that cancer typically meets the definition of a chronic disease that lasts at least three months and that cancer survivors have significant needs across the continuum of care. Both letters also note that the PACT Act, which would encourage the development of a personalized cancer care plan for Medicare beneficiaries, is compatible with policy options proposed by the working group.