“Our country needs to do all it can to improve the quality and value of health care at the same time we develop ways to lower costs and make care more affordable. The proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced earlier this month, to test new approaches to paying for Medicare Part B drugs is a welcome experiment with better ways to align payment incentives with the best interests of patients.
Our current health care system is riddled with perverse payment incentives that drive up costs unnecessarily without improving the quality, outcomes or value of health care. It is a compelling national priority to ensure that our payment system rewards high-value care — including when it comes to prescription medications. Adopting value-based methodologies for Part B medication payments should help ensure that patients get the most effective medication, at the best cost, for their needs.
As CMS tests new payment approaches, we encourage the agency to rigorously build an evidence base, and to use patient-reported outcomes and experience to assess the performance of various medications. We need to know more than how different drugs affect mortality; we also need to know how they affect symptoms, functional status and quality of life for the patients who take them. A robust effort to engage patients in this process will be essential.
Throughout our health care system, we need payment strategies that drive smarter spending — that help give patients the right care, treatment and drugs at the right time for the right reasons and at the right costs. We encourage the pursuit of models that both support patient-centered prescribing by clinicians and eliminate cost barriers to patients getting the most appropriate medications for their needs.
We are pleased to see CMS move in this direction, and encourage the testing and refinement of new payment models that improve access, quality of care and outcomes for patients, while driving smarter spending and greater value for our health care dollars.”