ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on its proposed rule outlining changes to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2018. In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, made recommendations regarding the two major paths for physician reimbursement within QPP: the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
The proposed rule includes a provision that could make certain Medicare Part B drug reimbursements subject to MIPS adjustments and seriously increase financial penalties for oncology practices. ASCO urges CMS to refrain from implementing such a policy at any point in time and to measure adherence to high-quality clinical pathways as a quality metric, rather than using raw, unadjusted oncology cost data for anticancer drugs. ASCO also supports efforts to develop oncology-specific episodes for evaluating resource use under MIPS.
ASCO strongly urges the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to implement multiple oncology-focused APMs, including ASCO’s Patient-Centered Oncology Payment (PCOP) model. Testing multiple oncology-specific APMs is necessary to meet the needs of a diverse Medicare population and to allow oncologists to evaluate models and choose the best approach for their patients and practices. ■
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