The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, stating that the 2% sequester cut to Medicare Part B drug reimbursement is unconstitutional and illegal, and that it can harm patient care and have a huge impact on the communityc ancer care system.
The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop HHS and the White House Office of Management and Budget from applying the Medicare sequester cut to reimbursement for Part B drugs.
In the lawsuit, COA, which represents more than 5,000 independent, community-based oncologists, shows the sequester cut has harmed patients, decimated the nation’s independent community cancer care system, and cost seniors and taxpayers billions in unnecessary health care spending.
Sequestration is an automatic cut to Federal government spending triggered because Congress was unable to negotiate a balanced budget in 2011. The blunt budget cutting gimmick has been extended multiple times, with the current sequester scheduled to continue through 2027. Beginning in 2013, CMS began to apply a 2% budget sequester cut to all Medicare Part B reimbursement, including for drugs. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to specifically stop CMS from applying the sequester cut to Part B drug reimbursement.
The application of the sequester cut to cancer drug payment set up the nation’s cancer care system for the closure or consolidation of independent community oncology practices, where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. This has created access problems for patients as cancer care moves into the much more expensive hospital system, driving up costs for seniors with limited mobility and fixed incomes, as well as all taxpayers who fund Medicare.
See the full release here.