Official Tells Hill Panel Medicare May Revise Controversial Drug Payment Proposal

The Associated Press:
Medicare Weighs Changes To Controversial Plan On Cancer Meds

Affected [by the proposal] are those medications administered in a doctor’s office. That includes most chemotherapy drugs, as well as injected and infused drugs for macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, some immune diseases and other conditions. … Medicare now pays doctors and hospital outpatient clinics the average sales price of a drug, plus a 6 percent add-on. Since 6 percent of a $15,000 drug is more than 6 percent of a $3,000 drug, some experts believe the formula influences doctors’ prescribing decisions. The new formula would combine a 2.5 percent add-on with a flat fee for each day the drug is administered. A control group of doctors and hospitals would continue to be paid under the current system. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/28)