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House Bill to Improve Accuracy of Medicare Reimbursement Introduced: Members of Congress Seek to Stem Growing Healthcare Coverage Shortfalls, Community Oncology Alliance Advocates for Swift Passage of Bill
Date:3/10/2009

being sent elsewhere for treatment and some patients are actually foregoing treatment. The crisis will deepen as demand for cancer care is now starting to exceed the supply of oncologists during the next 11 years, when we will be short an oncologist for every 1 in 3 cancer patients.

"This is a national problem that is affecting the delivery of cancer care treatment to our most vulnerable patients," said U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY). "It is critical that we address this issue because these cuts to the Medicare reimbursements are having an adverse impact to physicians, related practitioners and their patients in all our communities."

"This bipartisan bill will help people with cancer receive treatment in their communities. It's important that we act now to help people who need these life-saving medications," said U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO), Vice Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over health care policy.

The problem not only centers on payments for cancer drugs, but also on essential services provided to cancer patients, such as treatment planning, which are not reimbursed by Medicare.

"On behalf of community oncology clinics, I thank Congressmen Green and Whitfield and their colleagues for their leadership. The introduction of this bill is a welcome and needed first step in supporting community cancer clinics," said Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana. "However, more has to be done because clinics provide cancer care to their patients that is not reimbursed by Medicare."

About Community Oncology Alliance (COA)

COA is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to community oncology. COA was founded by community oncology to advocate for patients and providers in the community on
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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