HCFO-Funded Work on Medicare Payment for Chemotherapy Drugs Featured in Washington Post

Publication Date: 
April 13, 2016

Last month the Obama administration unveiled a drug payment pilot program that would fundamentally change how doctors are reimbursed for administering injection drugs. The pilot would reduce doctors’ earnings on the most expensive drugs while making older generics more lucrative. In a piece for the Washington Post, Carolyn Johnson discusses the evidence that supports both sides of the argument. In particular, she references findings from a HCFO-funded study from Joseph E. Newhouse, Harvard Medical School, that found after the reimbursement formula went into effect in 2005, newly diagnosed lung cancer patients were more likely to receive chemotherapy, shifting towards more lucrative drugs for doctors. However, other studies have suggested that shifting away from reimbursement based on the margin would not have an impact. The Medicare pilot program has been proposed for a five-year period and will be assessed thereafter.