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CMS Succumbs to Industry Pressure and Cancels Part B Payment Pilot

Posted in Legislation and Public Policy, Medicare and Medicaid, Pharmaceuticals

The Innovation Center at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on December 15 that it was canceling its previously announced mandatory five-year Medicare pilot that would test new ways of paying for outpatient drugs. The details of the proposed pilot were originally posted here.

According to CMS, the rule received more than 1,300 comments and most were negative. “After considering comments, CMS will not finalize the Medicare Part B drug payment model during this Administration,” CMS said in a statement. “The proposal was intended to test whether alternative drug payment structures would improve the quality of patient care and the value of Medicare drug spending. While there was a great deal of support from some, a number of stakeholders expressed strong concerns about the model. While CMS was working to address these concerns, the complexity of the issues and the limited time available led to the decision not to finalize the rule at this time.”

As reported here earlier this year, several Congressmen had asked CMS to delay or kill the program. The abandonment of the Part B pilot, however, may not be the end of the battle over drug prices as President-elect Donald Trump has publicly stated that he intends to tackle the issue.

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