242 legislators oppose Medicare Part B payment proposal — 5 insights

A group of 242 legislators are urging the Obama administration to get rid of their proposed payment changes to Medicare Part B, according to The Hill.

Here are five insights:

1. In March, CMS proposed a new payment method for Medicare B drugs, which will try out payment methods in different geographic locations to compare results in various parts of the country.

2. Some of the proposed changes include:

• Lowering the add-on payments from 6 percent to 2.5 percent with an additional $16.80 flat payment
• Decreasing or eliminating patient cost-sharing
• Analyzing physicians' prescribing patterns to create decision-support tools to help provide patients with the safest and most appropriate drug choices

3. While the proposal has drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans, only four House Democrats signed the letter on Monday for a complete end of the proposed program.

4. Democratic House members including Reps. Brad Ashford (Neb.), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Collin Peterson (Minn.) signed the letter. The letter cautions the program may harm patients by limiting their access to treatment.

5. The Obama administration continues to back its proposal, which could be finalized this summer. So far, 25 organizations have released a joint letter supporting the proposal.  

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