- Medicare is considering testing changes to Part B drug reimbursement rates through a pilot program, according to a memo from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. The memo's contents were first reported by InsideHealthPolicy and Bloomberg.
- CMS has now pulled the memo off its website.
- The memo showed Medicare wants the ability to vary doctor reimbursement for the drugs they prescribe by geographic location. Medicare could then test whether limiting reimbursement rates changed what drugs doctors chose to prescribe.
Medicare Part B pays doctors for the drugs they administer to Medicare patients in the office. This excludes pills taken by patients outside of the doctor's office. Typically, doctors are paid the average sales price of a drug plus 6 percent.
The current reimbursement system may incentivize doctors to prescribe more expensive treatments. A program like the one suggested in the memo could be used to test how new reimbursement schemes might affect which drugs are prescribed.
CMS said the release of the memo was "premature," according to Bloomberg.