WASHINGTON — The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted unanimously Thursday to recommend a competitive pricing program and make other changes to reimbursement for drugs under Part B of the Medicare program.
“Medicare, as a large third-party payer, always needs to take steps to make sure it’s paying the right amount,” said commission member Paul Ginsburg, PhD, of the Brookings Institution, a left-leaning think tank here. “I’m particularly excited [about the pricing program] — it’s not often we have the opportunity to foster competition in areas important to Medicare.”
Under the Drug Value Program (DVP) — which would be voluntary for physicians — a small number of vendors would negotiate prices being paid for the drugs, but those vendors would not be the ones shipping the product. Providers would then buy the drugs at the vendor-negotiated rate, and Medicare would pay providers that rate plus an administration fee based on either the physician fee schedule or the outpatient prospective payment system. Providers also would have a chance to share in any cost savings generated by the DVP program.
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