What If the Project Is Implemented?
The ACR is calling for several changes if the demonstration project is not withdrawn:
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- Implementation in a limited geographic area so the methodology and effect can be evaluated before national implementation;
- Exemption of physician practices with 25 physicians or fewer, as well as exemptions for those in rural and medically underserved areas;
- Adjustment of the flat-fee rate; and
- Exemption for therapeutic classes of drugs and biologics that have no equally-effective cheaper alternatives.
Dr. Harvey says the ACR is in “open communication with Congress on both sides of the aisle to strategize about what we will do if the rule is not changed substantially.” The ACR will ask Congress to defund the proposal through budgetary mechanisms or to otherwise pass a bill to prevent CMS from implementing it. “We don’t want to go that route, but if it’s the only alternative, that’s what we will do,” he adds.
What You Can Do
Dr. Harvey encourages ACR members to send a letter to Congress and to local media outlets by going to the Legislative Action Center on the ACR website. “We are going to need a baseline of education on this issue to the public, so the more we [can] get this message out there, the better.”
Kathy L. Holliman, MEd, is a medical writer based in Beverly, Mass.