In an era of increased focus on containing rising healthcare costs, personalized medicine represents an important solution in addressing these concerns, while improving the quality of patient care. In order to ensure that these important advances continue, it is essential to ensure payment policy supports personalized medicine.
Much of PMC’s policy work in the coming year will focus on both the challenges and opportunities in Medicare payment policy. For several years, ongoing efforts to reduce reimbursement for advanced diagnostic tests have been at the leading edge of this work. Recent proposals to cut reimbursement for diagnostics and drugs in Medicare Part B underscore the importance of our continued focus in this area.
Building on the success of our reimbursement issues brief from 2010, we will soon publish an updated brief outlining the difficulties facing personalized medicine in coverage and reimbursement decisions. This paper will cover coding changes as well as the challenges that CMS has placed on innovators. It will also outline evidence issues and how the field might consider tackling them.
In addition, PMC will address how emerging, alternative payment models (such as medical homes, accountable care organizations, and pathway- or episode-based payment) also will have a significant impact on development and adoption of personalized medicine. While some of these approaches appear to hold promise, we must pay attention to the details to ensure that they are designed in ways that allow physicians to tailor care based on an individual’s genetics and other factors, and that support adoption of novel targeted therapies.
PMC already has begun engaging on this important set of issues. Based on our policy principles for deficit reduction, we are developing additional messaging and conducting further analysis to engage Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) throughout the year. Our next opportunity will be on April 10 when we will respond to a request for comments on Specialty Practitioner Payment Models. In our response, we will encourage CMS to see targeting drugs with diagnostic tools as a way to increase the quality of patient care and to ensure that policies encourage this direction.
As we engage on a growing range of important policy issues, it is timely that Dr. Patrick Conway, the acting director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), will be joining us this week at our Tenth Annual State of Personalized Medicine Luncheon. CMMI has responsibility for testing and implementing alternative payment models at CMS. We look forward to hearing from Dr. Conway as he shares his vision of personalized medicine, CMS’ perspective of innovation and quality health care reform, and answers questions about developing payment policies.
We recognize that personalized medicine depends on our ability to pay for both diagnostic and therapeutic products, and to that end, the PMC is focused on advocating for public policies that support personalized medicine’s development through scientific, regulatory, and reimbursement-related activities. I invite you to join PMC at the Tenth Annual State of Personalized Medicine Luncheon Address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on March 13.