On July 18, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that compares characteristics of hospitals participating in the 340 Drug Pricing Program with those not participating in the 340B Program. The report focuses on three types of hospitals that made up more than 95 percent of 340B participants in 2016.
The report examines the effects of Medicaid expansion on 340B participation and other characteristics such as rates of charity care provided.
Because for certain types of hospitals 340B eligibility is partially based on the number of Medicaid patients served, the report finds that 340B participation increased for those particular hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid.
Read the report summary.
View the full report.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting two "Office Hours" sessions over the next few weeks to provide a brief overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS 2017) performance feedback and targeted review, answer frequently asked questions, and highlight available resources on performance feedback and targeted review. The two webinars will be held at the following times:
If you are interested in submitting a question to be considered, please email CMSQualityTeam@ketchum.com. This email address is only for office hours questions; do not use this to submit a targeted review request. Space for these sessions is limited; register now to reserve your spot. The audio portion of the sessions will be broadcast through the web. Questions? Contact the Quality Payment Payment program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMS is also hosting a series of webinars on the MIPS Performance Categories for Year 2 (2018) of the Quality Payment Program. The webinars will provide an overview on the Cost, Improvement Activities, and Quality performance categories for Year 2. CMS subject matter experts will cover topics including category requirements, scoring details, and data submission mechanisms. Below are details for these webinars:
MIPS Cost Performance Category for Year 2 (2018) Overview Webinar
MIPS Improvement Activities Performance Category for Year 2 (2018) Overview Webinar
MIPS Quality Performance Category for Year 2 (2018) Overview Webinar
The audio portion of these webinars will be broadcast through the web; you can listen to the presentation through your computer speakers. CMS will open the phone line for the Q&A portion, but if you are unable to hear audio through your computer speakers, please contact CMSQualityTeam@ketchum.com.
On July 16, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) submitted comments to the Request for Information (RFI) included in the administration's Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. The plan was released in May.
In its comments, ACCC expresses support for the overarching goal to "bend the cost curve by improving care, providing the right care at the right time, reducing over-treatment and under-treatment, and reducing hospital admissions and readmissions." However, ACCC cautions that "any policy solution to rein in drug costs must preserve patients' access to—and ability to afford—quality cancer care and, relatedly, mitigate any impact on already reduced payment rates for cancer providers."
In brief, ACCC comments on the following concerns:
On July 13, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved enzalutamide (Xtandi, Astellas Pharma US, Inc.), for patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).
This approval broadens the indicated patient population to include patients with both non-metastatic CRPC (NM-CRPC) and metastatic CRPC. Enzalutamide was previously approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic CRPC.
Read FDA announcement.