Earlier this month, the House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees unveiled a Medicare reform package that transitions the physician payment system to one that rewards physicians for the quality of care they provide instead of the volume of services they provide. These changes in Medicare, which will be implemented over a decade, hold the promise of a better system of care for cancer patients.
The work of the committees has dramatically advanced the effort to improve the Medicare physician payment system. NCCS hopes to see the package changed slightly to include a new Medicare service (and new Medicare code) that will address the needs of cancer patients during the ten years or more during which Medicare moves to value-based payment and alternative payment systems. The new cancer care planning service would foster the development and communication of cancer care plans that will reflect patients’ treatment wishes, foster coordination of care, and contribute to better utilization of health care resources. NCCS believes that this service will be critically important to cancer patients in the decade or longer of transition away from fee-for-service payment.
Representatives Lois Capps (D-CA) and Charles Boustany, M.D. (R-LA) have introduced the Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act, a measure that would establish a new Medicare cancer care planning service. NCCS urges the inclusion of the same cancer care planning service, as defined by the PACT Act, in the final version of Medicare physician payment reform considered by Congress. To make this happen, we need you to help us rally support for the PACT Act and send a message to the committees undertaking payment reform that cancer patients need quality care now.
We ask you to contact your Members of Congress to urge them to cosponsor the PACT Act, HR 2477.