Statement from the American College of Rheumatology Regarding CMS Proposed Rule on New Part B Drug Payment Model March 11, 2016 Statement from Joan Von Feldt, MD, MSEd, President of the American College of Rheumatology: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule outlining an initiative that would lower the reimbursement rate for Medicare Part B drugs. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is reviewing the proposal and will be deeply concerned if it includes a reimbursement cut that would make it economically unfeasible for rheumatologists to continue providing in-office biologic infusions to Medicare patients. “Many rheumatologists have already been forced to stop providing in-office treatments under the current Medicare reimbursement rate because it does not cover the cost of administering these highly complex therapies. It is our hope that the proposed payment methodology changes would not exacerbate the existing access problem and force more patients to receive biologic therapies in the hospital setting, where they will be faced with higher copayments, more expensive facility fees, longer travel times, and administration of complex therapies without the supervision of their rheumatologists. “The ACR is currently reviewing the CMS proposed rule to assess the full impact it will have on our Medicare patients’ ability to access life-saving and medically necessary care. We look forward to continued dialogue with CMS about the unique care needs of rheumatology patients and the factors that influence our prescribing decisions. The ACR will submit detailed comments to CMS in the coming weeks in response to the proposed rule.” Media Contact: Jocelyn Givens 404-633-3777, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org ###The ACR recently joined more than 300 groups from across the provider and patient advocacy communities in signing on to a stakeholder letter urging Congress to step in and urge CMS to reconsider its proposal. See the letter to Congressional leadership. See the letter to CMS leadership.