Medicare Monday: Concerns still abound about Part B proposal

Update on activity on Part B rule

Allyson Funk
Allyson FunkAugust 15, 2016

Medicare Monday: Concerns still abound about Part B proposal.


We’ve covered many of the concerns about the government’s overreaching proposal to change Medicare Part B payments and negatively impact seniors’ access to treatment. A lack of patient protections, use of one-size-fits-all treatments and mandatory changes across Medicare are just a few.

Patients, physicians and policy experts alike are continuing to raise the alarm about the proposal. Here’s a look at what some have been saying.

  • In a recent Health Policy Brief from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions and the Deloitte Center for Regulatory Strategy, the Part B proposal was one of several policies examined. The brief provides an overview of the proposal and highlights that, “Some critics, including many patient groups, have expressed concerns that the update to the payment formula in Phase 1 would not change prescribing behavior, but instead negatively impact beneficiaries’ access to treatment.”

  • Physicians from the American College of Rheumatology and the US Oncology Network opined in MedPage Today. In addition to highlighting concerns about patient access to the appropriate treatment, the writers conclude, “It's true, sometimes life-saving drugs are expensive, but reducing Medicare Part B drug spending by limiting patient access to these advanced therapies is not a sustainable solution.”

  • The ASCO Post – a publication of the American Society of Clinical Oncology – published an opinion piece from an oncologist on the poorly conceived Part B drug payment experiment. The author describes the reasons to oppose the proposal: “The hypothesis is weak, with essentially no pilot data to support a nationwide experiment, and there are no protections in place to ensure the safety of patients, who have no say over whether they will be enrolled in this experiment. The fact that it would also financially harm community-based practices and likely lead to site-of-service shifting to more expensive outpatient hospital facilities are additional reasons to oppose this experiment.”

tn_MedMon.jpgFor more on Medicare Part B, visit



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