Cuts To Medicare Part B Payments At Center Of Oncologists’ Lawsuit Against HHS
The cancer doctors are suing over ongoing sequestration budget cuts that cut Medicare Part B drug reimbursements by 2 percent. In other medical practice news from the day: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Merit-based Incentive Payment System hits reporting goals; the NBA names its first director for mental health; and statin tolerance is examined.
Oncologists Sue HHS Over Medicare Part B Sequester Cuts
Oncologists sued HHS Thursday over the continued 2% cuts to Medicare Part B drug reimbursements packed in the budget sequester, claiming Congress never gave HHS authority to change the reimbursement formula. In the lawsuit filed in federal district court in Washington, the Community Oncology Alliance argued the sequester accelerated independent cancer treatment centers' closures and consolidations, ultimately driving up the cost of care as patients head to hospitals rather than oncology practices for treatment. The trade group based its case on the claim that Congress never granted the executive branch explicit statutory authority to apply the cuts to Part B drugs. (Luthi, 5/31)
CMS Meets MIPS Reporting Goals, But Thousands Of Doctors Still Face Penalties
More than 90% of clinicians required to report under MIPS submitted data this year, but thousands of physicians will still face penalties for not complying with the program, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. The CMS found that 91% of clinicians eligible to participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System submitted data in the program's first year, surpassing the agency's goal of a 90% participation rate, Verma announced in a blog post Thursday. (Dickson, 5/31)
National Basketball Players Association Adds First Director Of Mental Health
The National Basketball Players Association named Dr. William D. Parham its first director of mental health and wellness on Thursday. In his role, Parham will oversee the development and management of the newly launched NBPA Mental Health and Wellness Program designed to assist all members of the union in addressing any mental heath challenges or issues they face. (5/31)
The New York Times:
How Many People Can’t Tolerate Statins?
Studies show that about 5 percent to 10 percent of people are unable to tolerate statins, largely because of muscle aches and related side effects, including potential muscle damage. But many people who have been labeled intolerant to the drugs probably are not, and medical researchers, normally a genteel lot, disagree sharply on the extent to which side effects are a problem. (Klasco, 6/1)