339 Groups Urge Congress to Halt International Pricing Index Model

Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians Coalition-organized letter highlights model’s threats to patient choice and American healthcare innovation.

Washington, DC, December 18, 2018 --(PR.com)-- The Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians Coalition (ASP Coalition), along with 339 patient, provider and caregiver groups, submitted a letter to congressional leaders urging them to block the implementation of the International Pricing Index (IPI) model that was recently unveiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) because of the adverse impact it is likely to have on millions of seniors and persons with disabilities who rely on Medicare Part B for essential treatments.

The letter urges Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to work together to create alternative policies that would benefit patients, providers, and American innovation.

Though the groups laud CMS’ goals of strengthening competition and enhancing value in Medicare Part B and support the testing of patient-centered, voluntary, small-scale reforms, they believe the IPI proposal would introduce harmful barriers, burdens, and inefficiencies into the American healthcare system. The groups strongly oppose the mandatory participation of Part B providers in the model that will fundamentally change now treatment is delivered to seniors.

“Compounding these concerns, the model also interjects new middlemen between physicians and patients – vendors that would impose requirements dictating treatment for patients with cancer, autoimmune disorders and other complex, life-threatening conditions,” the letter continues. “The model would restrict access in the short-term, and reduce incentives for medical advancement in the long-term, ultimately posing serious risks to vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.”

According to the groups, price control schemes such as international referencing hinder the research and development of new breakthrough medicines, while depriving patients and healthcare professionals of the ability to make key decisions about their care.

“Instead of encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to work closely with their physicians to select treatments based on evidence and best practices, the model would import foreign-based price controls, regardless of value or innovation,” the letter reads. “Our greatest concern is that this model would impose decisions made in countries such as Greece or Japan on approximately half of all independent physicians and hospital providers, as well as their patients.”

To view the full letter, Click here.

About the Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians (ASP) Coalition
The Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians (ASP) Coalition is opposed to harmful changes to the program that would exacerbate health care consolidation, increase access restrictions, decrease choice of therapy, and stifle future innovation for physician-administered treatments. To learn more, partbaccess.org.
Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians Coalition
Ellen Almond
(703) 548-1163