Medicare To Cover Infusion Costs For Prostate Cancer Vaccine, Company Says
In Medicare news, the drug maker Dendreon says federal officials have said they will pay doctors to administer the drug. Also, policymakers are studying Medigap to see if curbs on those policies could help cut Medicare costs.
Reuters: Medicare To Cover Provenge Infusion Costs: Dendreon
The U.S. Medicare and Medicaid health programs will cover the cost of infusing Dendreon Corp's prostate cancer vaccine Provenge in addition to the drug itself, the company said on Monday. ... The vaccine was approved to much fanfare and began selling in May 2010, but has endured a disappointing launch in part due to physician uncertainty about reimbursement for the medicine that costs about $93,000 for a course of three infusions (11/21).
Kaiser Health News: Officials Looking To Cut Federal Spending Eye Medigap Policies
Officials looking for ways to cut the federal deficit are suggesting that these Medigap policies help explain why the government's Medicare bill is rising so fast (Jaffe, 11/22).
Also, one member of Congress is seeking to get more funding for rural health clinics.
CQ HealthBeat: Bill Would Give Rural Clinics Access To Medicare Health IT Payments
Rural health clinics would become eligible to receive the higher Medicare payments available to providers that make effective use of health information technology, under a bill introduced by Republican Rep. Aaron Schock. "By making this change it will ensure seniors in rural areas can continue to rely on their local doctors for quality health care using up-to-date technology," Schock, of Illinois, said in a news release (Reichard, 11/21).