Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) questioned the value of an about $300 million-a-year Medicare demonstration project to improve cancer care for beneficiaries. The project, which began Jan. 1, pays chemotherapy providers $130 per report on a patient's level of nausea, vomiting, pain and fatigue. That includes a $26 patient copay. In a letter to senators and President Bush, Grassley said HHS' inspector general's office found providers already gather such data and the office raised concerns about the methods used. The office also criticized the CMS for not collecting information on the treatment of symptoms. "These providers are being paid $130 to simply forward the data that is already collected," Grassley said. -- by Tony Fong
Grassley says Medicare cancer project is wasteful
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