The government is investigating four ways to lower drug costs. The first is to cut add-on fees for doctors and outpatient centers from average sales price plus 6 percent to 2.5 percent; this would affect drugs generally covered under Medicare Part B.
The second way is to level payments to encourage physicians to use products that provide the most value for the patient. For example they would pay each provider the same reimbursement for injectable treatments for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis; even if the provider uses higher-cost products.
The third way is to tie payments to effectiveness; Under Medicare’s proposal, the rebates that the drug makers offer would be linked to the products results in the patients. Although most expertise agree the savings might be eaten up by the significant administrative complexity.
The final way would be to cut patients’ out-of-pocket costs to encourage patients to stay on needed treatments. Medicare is requesting suggestions in its public comment phase as to which drugs might be the best candidates for these programs. Read the article here……
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