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Congressional Bill Introduced To Fix Problem With Faulty Medicare Payment For Cancer Drugs
Date:2/27/2013

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announced its support today of H.R. 800 to exclude manufacturer-to-distributor prompt pay discounts from Medicare's payment for cancer drugs.  H.R. 800 would fix a flaw in Medicare that artificially reduces cancer drug reimbursement, which has led to access problems and increased costs to cancer patients.  The bill, commonly known as the Prompt Pay Bill, is sponsored by Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and was introduced with strong bi-partisan support from 31 House co-sponsors from 21 states.

Prompt pay discounts are contractual terms provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers to drug distributors.  These discounts are not typically passed on to community cancer clinics that directly administer IV chemotherapy and related cancer drugs to their patients.   The problem is not with the discounts but that they are included in the calculation of ASP, the basis for Medicare cancer drug reimbursement.  Inclusion inappropriately depresses payments to cancer clinics, which adversely impacts cancer care and increases costs to Medicare and seniors. H.R. 800 instructs manufacturers to exclude prompt pay discounts from their calculations of ASP provided to Medicare.

"Addressing the prompt pay issue is about addressing issues of patient access to care and preserving the best cancer care delivery system in the world," said Representative Ed Whitfield .  "Community cancer clinics are under pressure like never before and without their ability to provide care and ensure patient access to care, advances in treatment mean little and we are less equipped to win the war on cancer."

"The cancer community is grateful for the leadership of Congressman Whitfield and the 31 co-sponsors who recognize the urgent need to fix an obvious flaw in Medicare that impac
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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