Cancer Drug Access Unaffected By Medicare Sequester, CMS’ Blum Says
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
Fears that sequestration cuts to Medicare Part B drug payments would lead to drug access issues have failed to materialize, CMS’ Jonathan Blum tells the FDA/CMS Summit.
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Cutting the payment level for Medicare Part B drugs is a perennial budget proposal, but never gets very far in Congress. Now, thanks to the sequester, Part B payments have been cut from ASP+6% to ASP+4.3%. Will it stick?
A 2% cut is being applied first to the average sales price for drugs reimbursed by Medicare Part B, and then another 2% is taken out of the 6% add-on. The approach compounds the overall reduction to a level that far exceeds the 2% Medicare cut required by sequestration, according to the groups.
CMS issues its final 2013 hospital outpatient prospective payment system rule for Medicare Part B. The ASP+6% payment rate for drugs is aimed at producing more predictable reimbursement for separately billable drugs, biologics and radiopharmaceuticals.