NCCS was joined by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance in a letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish a system for making Medicare payments for cancer care planning and coordination services. In its proposal to update the Medicare physician payment system for calendar year 2013, CMS recommended payment for care coordination when a patient is discharged from inpatient care. In making the recommendation, CMS said that care coordination might result in improved quality of care and also better utilization of health care resources by preventing inpatient readmissions.
NCCS and its colleagues argued in comments on the physician fee proposal that care planning and coordination should be encouraged not only in the post-discharge setting but also for cancer patients at the beginning of their treatment and at the termination of active treatment and beginning of survivorship monitoring and care. This recommendation is consistent with the efforts of NCCS and other patient advocates to establish by legislation a cancer care planning and coordination service in the Medicare program. NCCS and its peers believe that care planning facilitates better communication between patients and their care teams and also promotes informed medical decision-making. In the long term, cancer care planning and coordination will enhance overall quality of cancer care and improve health care resource utilization.
The final fee schedule for calendar year 2013, which will incorporate any changes from the proposed feel schedule, will be published in late fall of 2012