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Help Protect Medicare Patient Access to Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Servises' (CMS) Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Proposed Rule remains open for comments until June 27, 2016. While it revises several hospital payment policies, it does not address the fact that hospitals receive a pass-through paymenf for the cost of acquiring solid organs, while similar costs for obtaining bone marrow and cord blood cells for transplants are bundled into a single payment rate that does not cover the full costs of the transplants.

Be The Match®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program®, along with transplant physicians and others in the transplant community, are asking CMS to establish the reimbursement for bone marrow and cord blood transplants using the same pass-through reimbursement method that it does for solid organs.

Unless this change in the payment system is made, hospitals will continue to be paid at rates that are significantly below the cost they incur to provide a transplant and follow up care. This means that some hospitals may no longer be able to provide transplants for Medicare patients. 

Please act now! It is important that CMS hears from as many people as possible that Medicare reimbursement should not be a barrier to accessing a life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplant. YOU can submit a comment to CMS asking the organization to reimburse the cells used in bone marrow and cord blood transplants seperately from the services provided by the hospital, just as it does for solid organs. 

Act Now

Senator Amy Klobuchar @Be The Match Walk+Run

On Saturday, May 14, Be The Match held its sixth annual Minneapolis Be The Match Walk+Run at Lake Harriet. The chilly temperatures didn't stop over 1,600 patients, donors, registry members, sponsors and supporters from participating in this amazing event. Together we raised nearly $215,000, used toward increasing the number of donors and cord blood units on the registry, helping patients navigate teh complexities of the health care system when preparing for transplant, and supporting research to discover and apply the best therapies for patient outcomes.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar helped kick off the opening program and spoke about the importance of supporting funding for this life-saving program. During her remarks, the senator mentioned how she was the only member to donate her salary to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which supports cancer research, during the government shutdown. Senator Klobuchar's continued support of the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program and the NIH have been a valuable addition to the success of both programs and the patients and families affected by blood cancers and other blood disorders.

The Be The Match Walk+Run series is just getting started. Learn more to find an event near you!


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Follow the Conversation

Thousands of advocates around the country have taken a stand for patients in need of a marrow transplant. Follow the conversation on social media using #BeTheMatchAction!

You can make a difference by helping to protect access to life-saving bone marrow and cord blood transplants. Learn more about how federal Medicare policies can be improved and take a stand for patients by ensuring they have access to the care they deserve.


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