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Congress Continues Level Funding Through April 2017

Before the Congress adjourned for recess, it agreed upon, and the President signed into law, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through April 28, 2017.  Under the CR, the vast majority of federal programs will receive the same amount of funding through April 28 that they received under the FY 2016 funding legislation.  This fact is true for both the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program) and the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) as well. 

To fund the remainder of FY 2017, the Congress will have to pass additional legislation.  The House and the Senate were close to an agreement toward the end of the year, so it may be possible for the Congress to pass further appropriation legislation beyond level funding.  As you may recall, the NMDP/Be The Match ® worked closely with appropriations to increase funding for the NCBI by $5 million.  The NMDP/Be The Match® will continue to push for that amount to be added through the 2017 process. 

At the same time, the Congress and the President-Elect will need to fund the government for FY 2018.  We will likely see the new administration’s budget in late February or early March.  Once we again, we will need your support to let the Congress know how important it is to continue funding for the Program and NCBI.

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Medicare Coverage & Reimbursement Update

As 2016 comes to a close, we reiterate our thanks to all of you who helped secure an important victory for patient access to bone marrow and cord blood transplants in the outpatient setting.  However, 2017 will be a busy year as we intensify our efforts to address the reimbursement problems in the inpatient setting, where the vast majority of these transplants occur.  The current inpatient reimbursement bundles the cost of acquiring the cells for transplant rather than paying the acquisition costs separately, which is how CMS pays the acquisition costs for solid organs. 

While we continue to seek a regulatory solution to the problem by working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), we will need to engage the Congress in 2017 for a potential legislative fix and will need your help to do so.  During the next several months, we will need to add your voice to this effort and will ask you to contact your Members of Congress to tell them to protect access to bone marrow and cord blood transplants.    


We Want to Learn More About You!

We are thankful for your participation in our effort to make sure all patients in need of life-saving bone marrow or cord blood transplant have access to one. To better empower you to make a difference with federal and state policy-makers and to bring you more relevant content, we invite you fill out this brief survey about Be The Voice newsletter. Estimated time: 5 minutes

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Advocate Profile: Julia Nex

Julia, a recent graduate from Western Carolina University, volunteers her time being a virtual volunteer for the Legislative Relations department at NMDP / Be The Match working on congressional research, tracking cord blood legislation in each state, and reviewing laws that effect donor leave and tax credit. This work helps inform our communications with donors, government agencies, and others

Julia’s enthusiasm for Be The Match began when she ran across an internship for Be The Match Walk Run Charlotte event. While she was interning, Julia says “The mission and cause of Be The Match became more important to me. Working with other volunteers that have also been directly affected by blood cancer made the experience more real for me.” After the Charlotte Walk Run event ended, Julia continued to volunteer with us and describes it as a “spectacular journey”.

“Cancer is one of the most devastating things to happen to someone; just about everybody knows someone affected by it or knows of someone who has been,” says Julia “This cause is important because it alleviates some of the stress, worry, and headache for patients, family members, and anyone else affected.  Volunteering, donating money, participating at events, and doing anything Be The Match has to offer is a way to make the lives of others that much easier.”


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