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Community Oncology Alliance Supportive of 2019 OPPS Proposed Rule


Washington, DC, July 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Community Oncology Alliance released the following statement regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2019 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) Proposed Rule: 

COA is generally pleased with the proposed OPPS rule and commends CMS for taking additional steps to reform important long-standing flaws in our nation's health policy. While obscure and opaque to consumers, the issues of 340B and site payment parity are extremely costly to patients and taxpayers. Changing them will not be easy and policymakers are certain to face extreme pressure from hospitals to reverse course. 

In the rule released yesterday, CMS extends last year's 340B Drug Payment program reimbursement adjustment for hospitals to certain off-campus provider-based departments. The rule also proposes to adopt site-neutral payments for off-campus provider-based departments, matching payment rates in the 2019 Medicare Physician-Fee Schedule Proposed Rule. CMS estimates that, if finalized, the site-neutral payment proposal is projected to save seniors on Medicare about $150 million in lower co-payments for clinic visits. 

"The Trump administration deserves a huge round of applause for these bold proposals. They demonstrate a real commitment to meaningfully fix many of the misguided policies that cast a shadow on our nation's cancer care system," said Jeff Vacirca, MD, FACP, CEO of NY Cancer Specialists and president of COA. "As evidenced by CMS's calculations, this policy is fantastic news for seniors on Medicare and taxpayers. They will benefit greatly from reduced out-of-pocket spending when dealing with cancer care and other illnesses." 

"President Trump, HHS Secretary Azar, Administrator Verma, and the staff at HHS deserve a resounding round of applause for these spot-on and extremely positive proposals," said Ted Okon, executive director of COA. "Expanding the scope of 340B reforms and extending site-neutral payment policies included in this rule are good for cancer patients, the Medicare program, and all Americans. They will help fulfill President Trump's promises to reduce health care spending." 

COA looks forward to supporting the administration's efforts to make the OPPS reform proposals a reality. We continue to analyze the details of the rule and will provide formal comments to CMS in the coming months.  

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to preserving and protecting access to community cancer care, where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. COA leads community cancer clinics in navigating an increasingly challenging environment to provide efficiencies, patient advocacy, and proactive solutions to Congress and policymakers. Learn more about COA at


Community Oncology Alliance

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