September 13, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced a bill to protect access to care for vulnerable Medicare patients being treated with Part B covered drugs, including treatments for cancer and other serious diseases.
In their reckless tax and spending bill, Democrats included a price-fixing scheme for certain Medicare Part B physician-administered drugs that would cut reimbursements for health care providers issuing life-saving medication. As a result, patients will struggle to find the care they need in their local communities.
Barrasso’s bill, the Protecting Patient Access to Cancer and Complex Therapies Act, would lower reimbursements for providers and require drug manufacturers to send rebates directly to the government for the difference in costs. It will save medical practices instead of putting providers in the middle at no extra cost to the government.
“By cutting reimbursements for doctors, Democrats are making it extremely difficult for patients with cancer and other chronic diseases to find care in their local communities. This price-fixing scheme will raise costs for our seniors on Medicare,” said Senator Barrasso. “This bill will keep physician reimbursements stable and not cost the government a dime. Congress must pass this bill so cancer patients don’t become collateral damage as a result of the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree.”
Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is introducing companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The Inflation Reduction Act slashed the physician reimbursement rate for Part B payments significantly, threatening care for 60 million Medicare beneficiaries," said Rep. Burgess. "The 2023 Protecting Patient Access to Cancer and Complex Therapies Act safeguards access to personalized care for patients with complex conditions and ensures the highest quality care for American patients, including those with cancer and other serious and complex conditions such as rheumatologic, autoimmune, and inflammatory conditions; those living with blinding eye diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and rare diseases; and those living with serious mental illness. This legislation removes physicians from the center of pricing determinations involving CMS and manufacturers, all the while preserving patients' vital access to treatments and therapies they need."
This bill has received support from the Infusion Providers Alliance, the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA), the Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA),
“We commend Senator Barrasso and Representative Burgess for introducing this critical legislation, which is a top priority for the IPA due to the massive cuts to health providers that could result when price negotiations commence on Part B drugs. This bill is cost-neutral, preserves patient access, keeps cost effective infusion providers whole and stops the drive to the more expensive hospital setting, where Medicare pays twice as much for drug administration.” – Doug Ghertner, President of the Infusion Providers Alliance
“An unintended consequence of the Inflation Reduction Act was that reimbursements to physicians were cut significantly, making it difficult to provide certain medications that our patients with chronic illnesses desperately need. This legislation protects our ability to provide these complex therapies in our practices for patients with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis and other chronic conditions, while still achieving the same savings for the Medicare program. We hope Congress can advance this bill without delay.” – Dr. Scott Ketover, President and Board Chair of DHPA
“This bill takes physicians out of the middle of pricing decisions by CMS and manufacturers and preserves patient access to critically important physician-administered drugs.” – Dr. Evan Goldfischer, President of LUGPA
“Senator Barrasso and Rep. Burgess’s bill achieves the same savings to the Medicare program by replacing a reimbursement cut with a rebate from manufacturers while making sure physicians at the front lines of patient care are not collateral damage.” – Dr. Mara Holton, Chairman of Health Policy for LUGPA
Full text of the legislation can be found here.