Turn Up the Volume on Sequester’s Impact on Cancer Centers


By Sydney Abbott, JD, Manager, Provider Economics and Public Policy, ACCC

Yesterday, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) introduced a bill that would eliminate the sequester on chemotherapy drugs that must be administered in the physician office setting (HR 1416).  It would also direct Medicare to repay providers for any reduced payment since April 1.

As you know, as part of the sequester, on April 1 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reduced Medicare reimbursement for all drugs and services by 2%.  As providers begin feeling the impact from claims submitted April 1 or later, some are being forced to turn patients away.  Cancer care providers are impacted disproportionally because of the way care is reimbursed.  In addition to services, the 2% sequester cuts are applied to drugs, which have fixed costs. Given the high cost of cancer care therapies, the sequester is putting many cancer care providers underwater.

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