1. PIPC Grassroots Call on Congress: We Need More Voices Opposing Cost-Effectiveness in Medicare! Share note below with your networks!
2. PIPC Poll: Americans Support Patient-Centered Solutions, Oppose Government Determining Value, click here to view the full survey results.
3. PCORI Board Approves $44.4 Million for 21 New Patient-Centered Research Projects, click here to view the press release.
4. CMS Blog: Pursuing Health Equity for the Nation, click here to view the blog post.
5. AHRQ Names New Director, click here to view the article.
6. Blog: TIME Magazine Recognizes Two PCORI Awardees, click here to view the blog post.
The Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC) is calling on all members and patient advocates to engage their grassroots networks in opposition of a new proposal calling for centralized use of comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness reports as the basis for national Medicare policy. As detailed in our recent Patient Access Alert, PIPC is strongly opposed to CMS’ new Part B demonstration; by relying on value assessment tools intended to drive centralized coverage decisions, it creates substantial new barriers to patient access and undermines the movement toward patient-centered health care.
To make it easy for stakeholders and patients to express their opposition to the proposal, PIPC has set up a new comment portal and has prepared the action alert below to encourage grassroots support for our position. Our goal is to generate hundreds of letters to Members of Congress to demonstrate the significant resistance among the patient community to CMS new proposals. PIPC strongly encourages its members and friends to share the action alert below with their networks – via email blasts, blog posts, newsletters, on websites, and using social media – to encourage stakeholders to spend two minutes contacting their Member of Congress and opposing the Part B demonstration.
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Stop Medicare from Getting Between Patients and Their Doctors!
We need your help! Last month, the U.S. Medicare agency (CMS) proposed a new reimbursement model for prescription drugs that would set a troubling precedent for determining what treatment options a doctor can offer their patient.
>> Click for easy instructions on how to comment <<
This new proposal would allow the government to determine the value of certain drug treatments for patients by using generalized “comparative effectiveness” research and “cost-effectiveness” data which focus on treating the “average” patient. In reality, no patient is average, and reimbursement policies that rely on treating the “average” patient consistently fall short in facilitating a patient-centered approach to care that allows doctors and patients to collectively choose the best treatment options.
Comparative effectiveness research can be used as a valuable tool for patients to better understand their treatment options and the impact on outcomes they care about so that they can make informed decisions with their providers. However, proposals that set national coverage policies based on bureaucratic determinations of average value pose a grave risk to patients. As proposed, Medicare could use academic research against patients to limit coverage to a treatment that is deemed “cost-effective,” regardless of the real impact on patients or their personal preferences for their course of treatment.
>> Tell Congress: Don't let Medicare get between patients and their doctors <<
The voice of the patient community will be essential in urging Congress to stop Medicare from setting up this new reimbursement model that could significantly undermine the ability of patients and doctors to choose the most appropriate treatment method. We urge you to take two minutes to visit the Action Center and submit comments to Congress to encourage them to support patient-centered care and uphold the doctor-patient relationship.
2. PIPC Poll: Americans Support Patient-Centered Solutions, Oppose Government Determining Value
The Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC)—whose members include organizations representing patients, people with disabilities and other stakeholders—reecently released a public opinion poll regarding healthcare delivery and access in America. The survey, which builds on prior surveys conducted by PIPC in 2013 and 2015, shows that of nearly 2,000 registered voters polled by Morning Consult, 8 in 10 say that doctors and patients should be able to decide the best course of treatment without government interference and that Medicare reforms should move toward patient-centered health care by giving physicians and patients the support they need to choose the best care for them.
This survey follows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recently proposed new Part B Drug Payment Model, calling for government-determined centralized value determinations based upon comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses. Consistent with the poll’s findings, PIPC is strongly opposed to putting CMS in the position of deciding value on behalf of patients, which would create substantial new barriers to patient access, and undermine the movement toward patient-centered healthcare. Indeed, the survey finds that 7 in 10 voters oppose allowing CMS to determine what is valuable for patients based on an average.
The survey demonstrates that voters resoundingly reject the main tenets of the CMS proposal.
Additional key findings include:
9 in 10 voters agree that health care decisions should be made between doctors and patients6 in 10 voters oppose government efforts to set national protocols for medical care to promote mindful prescribing by physicians for Medicare patients2 in 3 voters do not think the government should try to save money by setting preferred courses of treatment for diseasesMore than 6 in 10 voters oppose government deciding when drugs are similar on average in order to give prescribers incentives to use certain drugsFinally, 86 percent of voters think it is important to maintain the current Medicare safeguard that prohibits the government from using cost-effectiveness in making coverage or payment decisions because it may discriminate against seniors and people with disabilities.
PIPC Chairman Tony Coelho stated, “This survey highlights the importance of PIPC’s long-standing efforts to support patient-centered approaches to comparative effectiveness research and payment and delivery reform, and strong concern with the one-size-fits-all approach taken by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in its March 8 proposed rule. PIPC has worked too hard and too long to give patients a meaningful voice in health care decisions to go back to sidelining patients in their own care decisions; we urge CMS to withdraw this proposed rule and instead embrace solutions that will put patients at the center of value.” Click here to view the full survey results.
3. PCORI Board Approves $44.4 Million for 21 New Patient-Centered Research Projects
As detailed in a recent press release, PCORI “approved $44.4 million in funding for 21 new patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies. The funds will support projects on a range of conditions and problems that impose high burdens on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system, including postpartum depression, misuse of antibiotics, post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans, and joint replacement among others… ’We're pleased to announce this new round of studies designed to produce evidence that will help patients and those who care for them make better-informed health and healthcare decisions,’ said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. ‘We believe these studies will address significant gaps in our knowledge and have the potential to change practice and improve patients' outcomes.’” Click here to view the press release.
4. CMS Blog: Pursuing Health Equity for the Nation
A new post on The CMS Blog highlights the role of PCORI in reducing healthcare disparities. “PCORI's authorizing legislation directs it to pay particular attention to health disparities and to include members of minority groups in research whenever possible... CMS Office of Minority Health is working on how to support, engage, and empower these professionals, while PCORI has funded more than 50 projects that are comparing health outcomes and other aspects of programs that do and don't include lay members of healthcare teams...The CMS Office of Minority Health and PCORI are just two of many organizations working to move our nation further along the path to health equity.” Click here to view the blog post.
5. AHRQ Names New Director
As Healthcare Informatics reported last week, “Andrew Bindman, M.D., a primary care physician who has practiced, taught, and conducted health services research at San Francisco General Hospital, has been named the new director of [AHRQ]...[HHS] Sylvia M. Burwell said, ‘As AHRQ Director, Dr. Bindman will drive the agency's three core missions of producing research and evidence to improve the quality and safety of health care and the functioning of the health care system, producing tools, and training materials to make sure that evidence is understood and used, and investing in data and measures used by providers, patients, and policymakers.’” Click here to view the article.
6. Blog: TIME Magazine Recognizes Two PCORI Awardees
PCORI Executive Director Dr. Joe V. Selby wrote last week on The PCORI Blog to highlight two recent PCORI awardees who were cited in TIME Magazine. “Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, and Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco, and Duke University, respectively, are breast cancer surgeons who think we may be overdiagnosing and overtreating some breast cancer in our efforts to reduce its incidence and impact...As described in TIME, ‘these doctors' groundbreaking research is starting to bear out the fact that women have more options.’ For them and for PCORI, the goal is not to find one treatment that suits everyone but to find the right treatment for each person based on her or his individual circumstances and the outcomes important to them. That's what we call ‘research done differently.’” Click here to view the blog post.