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News & Advocacy

Federal Update: OAR Urges Congress to Reverse CMS Policy

posted: February 6, 2018

OAR and over 100 other groups signed onto a letter urging Congress to immediately reverse a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policy that will create enormous financial uncertainty for specialty providers and jeopardize patient access to vital Part B drug therapies.

Sent to the leaders of the Senate Finance, House Ways & Means, and House Energy & Commerce Committees, the letter states that an adjustment to the Merit-based Incentive Payment (MIPS) score may lead to decreased patient access to Part B drugs and increased financial risk to physicians who administer Part B drugs. The new policy could lead to payment cuts as high as 29 percent for certain specialties that prescribe Part D drugs, including rheumatology, according to an analysis done by Avalere Health.

Part B drugs cannot be purchased at local pharmacies and must be administered by specialists. A physician's office is often the most cost effective and convenient place to receive these treatments. OAR hopes that Congress will act swiftly to correct this policy and ensure patients have access to the treatments they need.

View the Letter