- The Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC), with support from more than 40 patient groups, sent a letter to CMS acting Administrator Andy Slavitt to voice their concerns about CMS' Medicare Part B demo.
- The groups raised concerns about CMS' proposed use of comparative effectiveness research and cost effectiveness as national Medicare standards in phase 2 of the proposal.
- The letter urged CMS not to move forward with the proposed rule unless it accommodates people with disabilities, stating, "we also have strongly opposed misuse of comparative effectiveness research (CER) and cost effectiveness in one-size-fits all government policies."
The proposed rule -- the Part B Drug Payment Model -- was released by CMS on March 11. The agency proposes it as a two-phase model to test whether alternative drug payment designs will reduce Medicare costs while preserving the quality of care provided to Medicare beneficiaries. The first phase involves changing the 6% add-on used to make drug payments to 2.5% plus a flat fee. The second phase implements value-based purchasing tools similar to those used by commercial health plans, hospitals, etc.
PIPC's letter stated the ACA’s provisions should be embraced to translate patient-centered outcomes research into shared decision-making tools instead of using policies "that were determined by Congress to undermine the very core of the ACA’s goals for advancing a patient-centered health system." The letter concluded, "We strongly urge CMS not to move forward with this flawed policy. Instead, CMS should work to engage patients, people with disabilities and their families, providers and other stakeholders in the identification of models that put patients and people with disabilities at the center, as well as in the development of thoughtful policies that balance progress toward a patient-centered health system and overall health costs."