Pfizer Inc. announced on July 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Ruxience™ (rituximab-pvvr), a biosimilar to Rituxan® (rituximab), for the treatment of adult patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA).
Read the corporate press release.
On July 10, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new details of a proposed bundled payment model for radiation oncology services (“RO Model”). As proposed, the model would make fundamental (but temporary) changes to the way that Medicare pays for radiation therapy in certain randomly chosen geographic areas. Under the proposed model, Medicare would pay providers a pre-determined, site-neutral bundled rate for most services provided in a 90-day episode of radiation therapy, rather than paying for each service individually. The proposed model would be mandatory for providers selected to participate and is intended to incentivize providers to deliver radiation therapy services more cost-effectively while maintaining or improving the quality of care delivered.
The Association of Community Cancer Centers has released a summary of the proposed RO Model, including potential implications for providers and manufacturers offering radiation therapy services and products. The summary covers top-of-mind consideration for this model, as proposed, and outlines questions for further analysis going forward as ACCC works with stakeholders to further evaluate the proposal.
Based on the proposed rule’s anticipated date of publication date in the Federal Register, comments on the proposal will be due September 16, 2019.
On July 10, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposal for a new mandatory Medicare Payment Model – the Radiation Oncology Model (RO Model) that seeks to promote the inclusion of radiation oncology in the evolution of value-based care arrangements in cancer care.
This model would be conducted under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) at CMS, and is proposed as a four-year model, running from 2020 through 2024. The proposal seeks to include 17 cancer types in the RO Model that would make prospective episode-based payments to participants in a site-neutral manner. The RO Model would also be furnished to provide physicians the opportunity to participate in an Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Participation in the RO Model would be required based upon radiation therapy (RT) services furnished in randomly selected Core Based Statistical Areas (CBST).
More details on the proposed model if available from CMMI here.
The ACCC policy team is continuing to analyze the effect of this proposal across our entire membership. CMS is accepting comments from relevant stakeholders up to 60 days after the release of this proposed rule into the Federal Register.
On June 25, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee leaders added bipartisan legislation to S. 1895 (116), the Lower Health Care Costs Act. In marking up the bill, legislators are expected to incorporate large-scale proposals to tackle drug pricing reform from Congress, including, surprise medical billing legislation, telehealth access legislation, generics competition legislation, and a tobacco 21 proposal.