Most disconcerting about the President's proposed budget cut to cancer drugs, is that the Administration has already chosen to cut payment by applying the Medicare sequester cut to the underlying cost of cancer drugs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has questionable statutory authority to cut the Medicare reimbursement rate specifically fixed in law and has ignored flexibility guidance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in implementing sequestration. As a result, as of April 1, 2013, CMS is paying for cancer drugs at the rate of ASP plus 4.3 percent.The unnecessary sequester cut to cancer drugs is already having an impact on the cancer care of seniors. It has forced community cancer clinics into emergency mode, with many clinics now being forced to send certain Medicare patients elsewhere for treatment. This will increase in scope and severity as the full impact of the sequester cut is realized. It is disconcerting that the Administration is ignoring this crisis, and now threatens to accelerate it with a proposed deeper payment cut to cancer drugs.
Joint Statement On The President's Budget From The American Society Of Clinical Oncology, Community Oncology Alliance, ION Solutions And The US Oncology Network
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