December 15, 2016, Washington, D.C. – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today it is abandoning plans to finalize a rule proposed earlier this year to implement a new Medicare Part B Payment Model that would have dramatically changed Medicare reimbursement for drugs administered in physician offices.
The controversial proposal would have set in motion a nationwide demonstration program that would have adversely impacted patient access to Remicade and other drugs that are essential to the treatment of conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It would have also unintentionally inflated costs of these drugs in the most cost-efficient site of service — the physician office setting.
“Abandoning this rule will allow independent GI physicians to continue treating their patients with the medications they need,” said Dr. Fred Rosenberg, president and chairman of the board of the Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA). “I was inspired by the outpouring of support from my colleagues in opposition to this rule. It is truly a victory for patients that this rule was withdrawn, and I am glad we helped CMS understand how harmful this change could have been if enacted.”
DHPA joined a coalition of more than 300 leading patient, disease and provider organizations in sending a letter to congressional leadership requesting that they ask CMS to permanently withdraw its proposed rule to implement a new “Medicare Part B Payment Model.”
DHPA members also contacted their Representatives and Senators urging them to voice opposition to the rule with CMS. At the conclusion of the effort, almost 200 Members of Congress had received more than 1,900 emails urging them to ask CMS to withdraw the proposed rule. Thanks in part to the outpouring of support from the independent GI community, more than 240 Members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter to CMS opposing the proposed rule.
About the Digestive Health Physicians Association
The Digestive Health Physicians Association (DHPA) is a trade association comprised of 65 independent gastroenterology (GI) physician practices across the country with the aim of promoting and preserving accessible, high quality and cost-efficient care in the independent GI medical practice setting. The DHPA’s member practices include more than 1,500 gastroenterologists and other physician specialists who provide care for over 2 million people in nearly 4 million distinct patient encounters annually. DHPA member practices employ more than 8,000 employees in their medical groups.
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