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Medicare Monday: CMS withdraws Part B demo, takes positive step forward on CMMI

Nicole Longo   |     October 30, 2017   |   SHARE THIS

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In case you missed it, earlier this month, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services formally withdrew a controversial proposal that would have had a detrimental impact on patient access to lifesaving treatments covered under Part B, many of which are used to treat complex conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and mental illness.

Originally put forward by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) in March 2016, the Part B Drug Payment Model, or Part B demo, proposed altering the way providers are reimbursed under Part B with a nearly nationwide, mandatory model that threatened access and quality of care for Medicare patients.

CMMI has broad authority to test new models of paying for and delivering care in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Part B demo elevated concerns over its flexibility to make far-reaching changes. Hundreds of patients, doctors and policymakers from across the aisle expressed concerns about the proposal, with many saying it marked a radical departure from CMMI’s previous demonstrations.

The withdrawal of the Part B demo and a recent request for feedback from stakeholders on the future of the agency mark steps in the right direction for CMMI. Before issuing any new demos, CMMI should carefully consider the feedback received as part of this process.

Without appropriate safeguards, CMMI programs could negatively impact millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Learn more about CMMI at PhRMA.org/CMMI.

Nicole Longo

Nicole Longo Nicole is senior manager of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Topics: Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B, CMMI

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