Congress Considers Bill to Equalize Physician, Hospital Cancer Treatment Pay

Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) have introduced a bill that would equalize payments for cancer treatment at hospitals and physician offices.

mike rogersCancer treatment services have been increasingly consolidated to hospital outpatient settings in recent years, leading to financial difficulties for community oncology clinics, according to a news release from Mr. Rogers' office. Mr. Rogers and Ms. Matsui introduced the Medicare Patient Access to Cancer Treatment Act to make sure all cancer treatment providers receive equal pay rates, keeping community clinics open and ensuring that patients in rural areas have adequate access to care, according to the news release.

The American Hospital Association opposes the bill on the grounds that it would equalize pay rates by significantly cutting reimbursements to hospitals for cancer treatment. The "misguided" legislation would limit access to chemotherapy services for patients who receive their treatment in a hospital outpatient setting, wrote Rick Pollack, AHA executive vice president, in a letter to Congress.

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