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CMS needs to hear from YOU - Proposed Changes in HOPPS will Improve Patient Access to Care, Help Them Get the Details Right

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment (HOPPS) Proposed Rule remains open for comments until September 6, 2016.

CMS has propsed changes to improve the reimbursement for bone marrow and cord blood transplants that are performed in the outpatient setting. Specifically, CMS proposes to modify its coding and cost reporting requirements to more accurately compensate hospitals for the cost of acquiring the cells that are used in transplants. Today, while the cells on average can cost more than $46,653 per transplant, Medicare only reimburses hospitals for $3,045.

We applaud CMS for taking this important first step forward.

The details matter and there are some important modifications we and others in the transplant community will be requesting to make sure that the new rate is set using the best data possible and can be updated over time as costs naturally fluctuate.

Please join us in our efforts to protect patient access to transplants in the outpatient setting by writing to CMS during the comment period on the HOPPS Proposed Rule before it closes on September 6th.  Let CMS know the transplant community supports its efforts and encourage them to get the details right.


Act Now

Critical Changes to the IPPS Not Adopted by CMS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule on August 2, 2016.

Unfortunately, CMS did not modify the inpatient payment policy for bone marrow and cord blood transplants in the Final Rule, despite requests from us, ASBMT, and hundreds of other commenters. We appreciate your efforts to urge CMS to fix this barrier to transplant; yet remain deeply troubled that it did not take the opportunity to do so. We will continue to work with CMS and the Congress to make sure that Medicare payment rates do not prevent patients in need of life-saving transplant from receiving one.

We hope that we can continue to count on your help and support as we continue this important work.


Mark your calendar!

The NMDP/Be The Match is proud to be one of the 100 partners to honor the 28 million registry members globally through World Marrow Donor Day on September 17th. 

This is the second year of celebrating the altruistic heroes in marrow transplant - the donors - on the world's various registries. Last year, celebrations included registry events, donor recognition events and social media sharing.

We are a long-standing member of the international organization, World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), the organizer of the campaign. We are excited to support the effort to celebrate marrow donors and further recruit committed members for the registry. 

Keep an eye out on social media for ways to share the thanks to marrow donors worldwide. #WMDD #ThankYouDonor


Advocate Profile: Ines Lukombo

In August of 2009, when most students were nervous about the start of school, Ines was nervous about something very different -- a bone marrow transplant. Ines had sickle cell anemia, an inherited disorder that causes blood cells to become stiff, leading to vein blockage, pain and potential organ damage.

Thanks to a marrow donation from her sister, Ines received the transplant she needed to overcome her disease.

Today, seven years post-transplant, Ines is a busy college student, anxiously anticipating the start of the school year and a return to her studies as a Molecular Biology and English major at the University of Pittsburgh. Ines has made sickle cell research and advocacy a priority. She has returned to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  This time not as a patient, but as a research assistant with the UPMC Sickle Cell team with plans to pursue a career in hematology.

Ines is a strong advocate for sickle cell research and Be The Match. Ines offered a patient's perspective by sharing her story at  our 2015 Aligning Quality and Value Forum, and on Capitol Hill, during a legislative briefing in honor of the 2015 Sickle Cell Awareness Month. This December 2016, Ines will speak to physicians at an American Society of Hematology (ASH) event.


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