Reps. Sewell and McMorris Rodgers Introduce Bipartisan Cancer Care Payment Reform Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) joined Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) in introducing the bipartisan Cancer Care Payment Reform Act. The bill establishes a five-year demonstration project using the framework of the successful patient-centered Oncology Medical Home (OMH) model developed by community oncologists in recent years. Using the OMH model, physicians have partnered with insurers to pilot several successful payment programs, which have proven to provide better patient care and achieve cost savings to the health care system. The bill has also been introduced in the Senate by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tom Carper (D-DE) as S.463.
“As a representative of many rural and underserved communities with a high prevalence of poor health outcomes, I believe we should be laser-focused on ensuring all patients have access to high-quality, affordable care and treatment close to home,” said Rep. Sewell. “I am proud to sponsor the bipartisan Cancer Care Payment Reform Act with Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers as a means of ensuring cancer patients have access to lifesaving cancer treatment in their community, while promoting revolutionary approaches to the delivery and payment for cancer care. Reducing financial barriers to cancer care is critical to eliminate both the human and financial costs associated with cancer for patients, loved ones, physicians, and the entire economy.”
“Medical breakthroughs continue to provide hope to millions of Americans, including cancer patients, and advancements in science have made it possible for cancer patients to receive care in their community and closer to home,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “My legislation updates the Medicare payment process to focus on comprehensive, patient-centered care that puts quality over quantity,” said McMorris Rodgers. “As we continue to search for a cure to cancer, models like this ensure that care is more results-driven and cost-effective for the patient and our nation’s health care system as a whole.”
The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year alone and more than half a million people are expected to die from the disease. Moreover, the National Institutes of Health reports that cancer costs will reach $158 billion nationally by 2020.
The Cancer Care Payment Reform Act relies on oncology practices to reduce overall costs to the health care system by providing higher quality care and keeping patients out of the hospital where care is most costly. Oncology centers that participate in the program would be rewarded with a portion of the savings under this legislation.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.