A bill introduced this week by leaders of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health would ensure cancer hospitals exempt from the Prospective Payment System would not see a payment change under site-neutral payments.
A congressional budget agreement last year included a provision that Medicare pay the same prices for the same services at off-campus hospital outpatient departments and physicians' offices. The bill by Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) would ensure that PPS-exempt cancer hospitals continue to receive the same reimbursement they receive now despite the site-neutral regulation.
Outpatient is about 60% of the care from cancer centers and the rate is expected to increase, according to the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers, which has opposed site-neutral payment.
In a policy statement last year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology said policymakers “should focus comprehensively on how best to reform oncology policy to support the full scope of oncology services that patients with cancer require rather than jeopardizing patient outcomes by reducing the resources available for patient care on the basis of site neutrality or other narrow analyses.”