Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Oncologists file suit challenging Part B payment reductions

May 30 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar alerting him to the legal action, which was filed on May 31.

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is legally challenging the sequestration of Medicare Part B drug reimbursement payments.

Part B drugs administered in the physician’s office are generally reimbursed at average sales price (ASP) plus 6%, a rate set in statute by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). However, the Budget Control Act of 2011 put a 2% sequestration on the federal budget, effective April 1, 2013, and extended numerous times after, most recently in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This has the effect of lowering Part B drug reimbursement to ASP + 4.3%.

COA filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a permanent injunction against the 2% budget sequestration as it is applied to Part B drugs.

“We are filing to see an injunction against the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Management and Budget [OMB] because we have exhausted all possibilities in stopping what is an unconstitutional application of the 2% sequester cut to Part B drug reimbursement,” COA President Jeff Vacirca, MD, and Executive Director Ted Okon said.

Read the article.


May 30 letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar alerting him to the legal action, which was filed on May 31.

This Week's Must Reads

Bortezomib looks promising in WM mutations, Sklavenitis-Pistofidis R et al. Blood. 2018 Oct 26. doi: 10.1182/blood-2018-07-863241

Patient perspectives on NHL treatment, Chircop D et al. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2018 Aug;35:117-21

Patient blood management in stem cell transplant, Jambhekar N et al. AABB 2018, Abstract PBM3-ST4-22

Immune system changes play a role in AML relapse, Christopher MJ et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Oct 31. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808777.