Leah Ralph: ACCC Concerned About Potential Impact of MedPAC Proposals
When MedPAC released several proposals to control Part B reimbursement costs, the ideas within them were not a surprise, explained Leah Ralph, director of health policy at the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC). However, the ACCC has some concerns about how these proposals could impact cancer patients’ access to care.
Transcript (slightly modified) What is the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ view on the MedPAC proposals for Part B cost control?
In early April, we saw MedPAC come out with a series of recommendations around Part B reimbursement, so these are policies that we’ve seen MedPAC as a group discuss in the past. Not a huge surprise. The recommendations kind of fall into 2 buckets. The first is what they’re calling an improved ASP reimbursement system and the second bucket is a proposal for what they’re calling a drug value program, which is essentially in some ways a modified version of the competitive acquisition program that was in effect from 2006 to 2008.
At ACCC we are committed to working with Congress and with CMS to make sure that we can develop a healthcare system where cancer patients can receive access to the drugs that they need. We are also committed to finding a way forward on a less costly system, for patients, for providers, for the Medicare program, but I think there is not enough detail in the drug value program proposal for us to really understand what that looks like and what the impact could be on patients and providers.
We’re still kind of working our way through the proposal, but I think there are some big concerns with what this would do to patient access to care for the cancer drugs that they need, particularly in small or rural communities where providers are not able to access those drugs like other providers might be able to. We need to look really closely at those proposals and be sure that it’s not having a detrimental impact on access.