In a partial victory for oncologists, the CMS revised its final 2005 physician fee schedule to increase payments for certain cancer drugs and for administering the drugs. The final rates, effective Jan. 1, 2005, will be made public in November, but CMS Administrator Mark McClellan outlined the changes in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee. The administration's proposed fee schedule would have cut payments to cancer-care doctors by $500 million in 2005, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The final fee schedule will restore an estimated $100 million of that, the society said. The changes address staff costs in preparing drugs for administration; higher resource costs when two drugs are administered; billing for the administration of more than one nonchemotherapy drug; and billing for management of significant adverse drug reactions. -- by Tony Fong
Final 2005 Medicare fees cut less from cancer care
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