NCHC Applauds Senate Finance Investigation of Drug Pricing

NCHC Applauds Senate Finance Investigation of Drug Pricing

Statement from National Coalition on Health Care’s CEO John Rother on Senate Finance Committee leadership’s demand for transparency on the astronomical pricing of Gilead’s new hepatitis C drug Sovaldi.

“Over the past months, our efforts have been focused on shining light on unsustainable prices. We believe providing more transparency into how and why drugs are priced is critical to the long-term sustainability and innovation that is a hallmark of a strong health care system.  We applaud Senator Grassley and Senator Wyden for undertaking this critical investigation of high prices for certain prescription drugs.”

See full press release:

National Coalition on Health Care Launches “Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing”

National Coalition on Health Care Launches “Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing”

New Campaign Will Put a Spotlight on Abuse of Market Power in Drug Pricing and Risks to Patients, Taxpayers, and Future Innovation

Washington DC – The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), today launched the “Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing” to spotlight what the group characterizes as “unsustainable and abusive” prices for some medicines.

The Campaign is led by NCHC President and CEO John Rother and aims to spark a national dialogue about the need to find market-based solutions to the problems caused by the onslaught of new high-priced prescription medicines. Rother pointed specifically to Sovaldi, a drug manufactured by Gilead Pharmaceuticals and used to treat patients with hepatitis C, that has drawn the ire of employers, consumer groups, state Medicaid programs, public health advocates, and payers. The drug is priced at $84,000 per 12 week treatment — or $1,000 per pill, and is often combined with other treatments bringing the total cost closer to $150,000 per patient.

Read more at here.

NCHC Appeals to Congress to Get Serious on SGR Reform

Statement from National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO John Rother on the Congressional Debate over SGR Reform

“The National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) appeals to Congress to get serious about SGR reform.

Today, the House approved a bill that married otherwise bipartisan reforms with a  politically charged pay-for, a five-year delay of the individual insurance mandate. The only savings that their chosen offset would generate come at the expense of consumers. Millions in state insurance marketplaces would face 10-20% rate hikes, and millions more would go without coverage.

See full press release here:

Patient, Hospital, and Purchaser Groups Call On Hill Leadership To Repeal the SGR this Month

Leading organizations from hospital, health professional, patient advocacy, religious health plan, and employer communities have joined with doctors’ groups to urge action on bipartisan SGR reform by April 1, 2014 in order to align incentives for physicians with higher value care and reward excellence. In a letter released today by the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), stakeholders urged Congressional leaders to bring the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act (S. 2000/H.R. 4015) to the floor of the House and Senate, along with vital health care “extenders” provisions and appropriate offsets.

See full press release:

Bipartisan Medicare Legislation Offers Solutions for Chronic Disease Costs

Statement by John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) regarding the introduction of the Lower Cost, Better Care Act of 2013, sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Johnny Isakson, Representative Erik Paulsen and Representative Peter Welch

 “This bipartisan legislation offers a solution that the millions of seniors and disabled Americans with chronic conditions require - personalized care tailored to their needs and preferences, delivered by collaborative teams of health care professionals…”

View full press release:

Health Care Experts and Stakeholders Back Bipartisan SGR Repeal Legislation

“As policy experts and representatives of health care stakeholders from across the political spectrum, we strongly support the SGR reform legislation before the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, and urge the Committees to advance this legislation to the full House and Senate.

View Full Press Release:

SGR Reform within Reach Early Next Year… If Congress Can Find the Will

Statement by NCHC President and CEO John Rother on today’s approval of SGR repeal and payment reform legislation by the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees

 “Today’s votes offer the full House and Senate a real opportunity early next year to repeal SGR and deliver better quality care at a lower price… if Congress can find the will to seize it.

View Full Press Release:

NCHC Commends Landmark SGR Reform Proposal from Finance and Ways and Means Committees

Statement by National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) President and CEO John Rother on proposed legislation repealing Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate and reforming physician payment, scheduled for consideration this week by the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee.

NCHC commends Chairmen Camp and Baucus, along with Ranking Members Hatch and Levin, for a landmark proposal that would end the threat of SGR-driven provider cuts and will help keep Medicare affordable over the long-term.

View full press release:

Isakson, Wyden Promote Forthcoming Medicare Proposal in Capitol Hill Event

WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) touted their forthcoming bipartisan proposal to improve chronic care at a roundtable on innovation and reform in Medicare and Medicare Advantage (MA) yesterday.

“Senators Isakson and Wyden are doing vital work. If we are going to keep Medicare affordable, we must expand, not curtail, innovative approaches to treating chronic disease like those developed by high-quality MA plans and others,” said John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), one of two co-sponsors of the event.

In addition to the remarks from Senators Isakson and Wyden, the Roundtable featured presentations by two experts in health care policy: Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D., Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and Kenneth E. Thorpe, Ph.D., co-chair of the event’s other co-sponsor, Partnership for the Future of Medicare (PFM). Dr. Chen pointed to successes in the Medicare Advantage program, while Dr. Thorpe discussed his “Medicare Integrate” proposal to extend successful care management approaches to the original Medicare program.

View full press release and presentations here:

Experts from Left, Right and Center United On Medicare Payment Reforms in SGR Package

October 9, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, experts from across the political spectrum called on Congress to replace the Medicare’s sustainable growth rate (SGR) physician payment formula with approaches that promote higher- value care instead of greater volume of services.

In letters sent to the leadership of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, thought leaders from conservative, progressive, and centrist think tanks united with nonpartisan stakeholder groups to urge SGR reform that establishes a clear path to new payment models.

In previously released work and policy recommendations, several of the signatories have proposed permanent SGR repeal with delivery and payment reforms that curb costs and improve quality, but today’s letter is the first joint expression of that position from the signatories. Absent congressional action this year, the SGR payment formula is scheduled to impose a 24% pay cut on physicians and a range of other Medicare providers on  January 1.

View the full letter and press release here: