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Lori Gardner, Senior Director
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For Immediate Release: October 9, 2006
Association of Community Cancer Centers Releases Comments to CMS About Proposed 2007 Physician Fee Schedule Rule
ROCKVILLE, Md.—On Monday, October 9, 2006, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with regard to the proposed 2007 Physician Fee Schedule Rule.
“ACCC continues to be concerned that the expected substantial reduction in the conversion factor, combined with other cuts in reimbursement under the Medicare Modernization Act and the Deficit Reduction Act, will have a serious negative effect on patients with cancer,” said ACCC Executive Director Christian Downs, JD, MHA. “Physicians cannot continue to absorb the significant cuts in payment rates for cancer services without substantial ramifications for patient care.”
ACCC is urging CMS to work with Congress and all interested parties to make changes to the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) or take other action to permanently stabilize physician payments at levels adequate to protect beneficiary access to care and work with the physician community to develop appropriate quality measures linked to payment incentives.
Furthermore, ACCC asks that CMS not implement the significant reductions in payment for drug administration services, as would occur under the proposed changes to the practice expense methodology, at least until the effect of these changes can be considered in conjunction with the expected reduction in the conversion factor and a determination can be made that beneficiary access to cancer care will not be compromised.
ACCC is also asking CMS not to impose any further reduction in payment for second and subsequent imaging services in the same session and continue to study the resources used in combinations of imaging services and assess the interaction of the existing multiple imaging procedure policy with the imaging payment reductions also required by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
Other recommendations include:
- Ensure that when compounded drugs are prescribed and provided, the costs associated with such compounding are included in the pricing, and instruct contractors accordingly in order to promote standardization in policies and pricing related to compounded drugs.
- Assure that adequate procedural and substantive safeguards are in place before using the widely available market price (WAMP) or average manufacturer price (AMP) for drugs instead of payment based on average sales price (ASP).
The full comment letter to CMS is available on ACCC’s website at: