More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Impending Medicare Cuts Opposed by Over 50 Health Groups

U.S. Newswire
11 Oct 17:18

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Patient and health care provider groups from across America are raising opposition to Medicare's move to finalize a rule that could make deep outpatient payment cuts for new medical technologies, according to an analysis by AdvaMed, the Advanced Medical Technology Association.

Over 50 organizations such as patient, physician and hospital groups, as well as individual hospitals from across the country, have written letters to Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services raising concern with the cuts. Many of them are warning that if Medicare goes forward with its plan, it would seriously disrupt patient access to advanced technologies and the practice of medicine.

The critical importance of these technologies was highlighted by a study in the most recent issue of the leading journal Health Affairs. In the study, physicians ranked technologies used in the outpatient setting like angioplasty catheters and minimally invasive surgery instruments among the most important to patients.

With Congress focused on domestic security and the war on terrorism, these cuts could slip through in the coming weeks despite the broad opposition from the patient and provider communities. Here's what just a few patient and provider groups are saying:

"The ACC is concerned by CMS's proposal to reduce pass-through payments," which "could reduce patient access to important new technologies." -- American College of Cardiology

"If significant (outpatient) payment reductions for breakthrough products are implemented...access to quality cancer care in the outpatient setting may be at risk." -- Cancer Leadership Council

Pass-through payment reductions "put at risk access to quality cancer care in the outpatient setting." -- National Kidney Cancer Association

"We cannot afford such losses and would have to modify our service offerings...possibly jeopardizing patient access to these therapies in the outpatient setting." -- Brigham and Women's Hospital

"We are very concerned about CMS plans to reduce (pass through payments). Inadequate Medicare reimbursement can create a real barrier to health care access for patients." -- National Multiple Sclerosis Society

"We are concerned that reductions in the pass-through payment program system will seriously jeopardize the treatment of millions of American women who depend on cutting-edge outpatient therapies." -- Society for Women's Health Research

To receive a full list of patient and provider organizations, contact information for them and letters they have written on the issue, contact Jeff Ezell at 202-434-7243.

AdvaMed, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, represents more than 1,100 innovators and manufacturers of medical devices, diagnostic products and medical information systems. Our members produce nearly 90 percent of the $71 billion health care technology products consumed annually in the United States, and nearly 50 percent of $169 billion purchased around the world annually.
Contact: Jeff Ezell, 202-434-7243
Mary Plock, 202-434-7240
both of the Advanced Medical Technology Association

Copyright 2001, U.S. Newswire