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October 26, 2018

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

26 October 2018 | Washington D.C.

The National Minority Quality Forum has released the following statement regarding the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services of a Medicare Part B program pilot:

“The National Minority Quality Forum is committed to improving the quality and availability of health services that are purchased by all Americans, whether through insurance or direct out-of-pocket payments. The proposed Medicare Part B “International Pricing Index” (IPI) that was announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) through an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on October 25, 2018 will alter the reimbursement model for drugs that are administered by physicians in their offices and in hospital outpatient departments. These include infusions and injections for treatment of cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating conditions. The Forum is concerned that the IPI will limit the availability of and access to effective therapeutic options, and increase the incidence of preventable morbidities and mortality. The National Minority Quality Forum believes that the value of policy and regulatory changes must be assessed by examining the impact of those changes on the outcomes of care in patients and communities. The Forum urges the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the Medicare Part B program continues to enable patients to receive essential and effective drug therapy by establishing safety monitoring protocols that are consistent with the Belmont Report.”

CMS is considering issuing a proposed rule for the IPI in the spring of 2019, with a potential model start in spring 2020.

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About The Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, non-partisan, independent research and education organization. The vision of NMQF is a health services research, delivery and financing system that provides quality and effective health services to the biodiverse American general population of the 21st century. NMQF helps assure that national and local quality improvement initiatives are informed by scientific evidence, and place a priority on the quality of care and patient outcomes in all populations.