Obama Administration scraps Medicare Part B proposal for reimbursing physicians

The Wall Street Journal (12/16, Evans, Walker, Subscription Publication) reported that the Obama Administration has scrapped a controversial plan to alter how Medicare reimburses physicians for Part B drugs which they administer in their offices after the industry strongly criticized the proposal. Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt said last month that the Administration’s experience with this proposal can serve as an “important lesson” for President-elect Donald Trump, adding, “If the new administration wants to consider proposals [on drug costs], it’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of stamina to get through.”

The New York Times (12/16, Pear, Subscription Publication) reported that HHS spokesman Ben Wakana explained that “after considering public comments on” the “proposed rule, the agency had decided not to move forward with the demonstration project, which was announced in March.” He stated, “The proposal was intended to test whether alternative drug payment structures would improve the quality of patient care and the value of Medicare drug spending. … While there was a great deal of support from some, a number of stakeholders expressed strong concerns.”