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AHIP Submits Comments On CMS’ Proposed Changes To Medicare Part B Drug Payment Policies

posted by AHIP

on December 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 21, 2018 – Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement as AHIP submitted its comments to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) advanced notice of proposed rulemaking that would test changes to payments for certain Part B-covered drugs and biologics under an international pricing index (IPI) model:

Patients should be able to get the prescription drugs they need at a price they can afford. But drug prices are out of control – with high prices when they are launched that go even higher as drug makers raise their prices year after year—sometimes multiple times per year.

The Administration continues to show its commitment to lower drug prices for patients and consumers. With this latest Medicare proposal, CMS is examining ways to bring down prices for the majority of drugs that are given to Medicare patients in a doctor or hospital setting. These are some of the most expensive medications that very sick patients need and deserve more affordable access. That’s why, 80 percent of voters support the changes proposed in this rule.

We also support these types of market-based approaches to bring down the price of Part B drugs, especially those with no or only limited competition. By seeking to lower prescription drug costs in Medicare Part B and addressing flawed incentives in the current payment system, this proposal holds promise in advancing the goals of improved access and affordability of medicines for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.  As CMS continues to define these reforms, we encourage the agency to consider how changes would impact other public and private programs, to ensure manufacturers are not merely shifting costs to consumers, employers, and taxpayers through higher prices in other ways.

Lower prices mean greater patient access, which will lead to healthier Medicare beneficiaries with a better quality of life. We look forward to working with the Administration and CMS on these and other market-driven approaches to protecting patients’ health and financial stability.

Read the full comment letter here. 

About AHIP

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is the national trade association representing the health insurance community. AHIP’s members provide health and supplemental benefits to millions of Americans through employer-provided coverage, the individual insurance market, and public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. AHIP advocates for solutions that expand access to affordable health care coverage to all Americans through a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality, and innovation. Visit www.ahip.org for more information.