Oncology Value Watchdog: What the Medicare Part B Reimbursement Model Means for Patients

Posted by Christina Corridon on Apr 25, 2016 11:41:32 AM

On March 8, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed to test a new Medicare Part B reimbursement model in a “lottery” of sorts, with the goal of delivering more value-driven care. The current incentives for prescribing a Part B drug allow the provider to make a margin of 6% of the average selling price (ASP) of the therapy. For an oncology drug that is infused weekly and costs $10,000 per month, that means $600 of margin per month for the provider. And the more expensive the drug, the higher the margin amount. (Not surprisingly, cancer drugs made up 42.1% of all Medicare Part B spend in 2014, according to CMS.) Under the new model being piloted by CMS, practices that “win” the lottery will now be reimbursed at ASP plus 2.5% and a flat rate payment of $16.80 per treatment, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. So that same $10,000 drug will now only yield $317.20 to the provider—about half of the $600 that they make today. After sequestration, that amount is reduced even further to $152.12.

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