Ensure Medicare Patient Access to Cancer Care

Let Congress know that that you do not want limitations imposed on the delivery of cancer care to Medicare patients

I am writing to express concern about the proposal by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cut Medicare payments to cancer care providers, such as hematologists/oncologists, nuclear medicine specialists, urologists and radiation therapists, beginning in calendar year (CY) 2010. As you may know, over 25% of the total proposed cuts in 2010 will be directed towards the above specialists.

President Obama recently pledged that the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), "will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American, including me, by seeking a cure for cancer in our time". Thus, it is perplexing that the cuts outlined by CMS will negatively impact cancer patients, making advances in cancer care more difficult to deliver.

To be successful in the very personal war against cancer, each patient must have access to the full range of cancer therapies, to cure cancer, to control the growth of cancer, or to relieve pain and other cancer symptoms. It is imperative that the continued achievements of various cancer care therapies be made available to all Medicare patients.

I urge CMS to refrain from finalizing the reductions in Medicare payment for cancer care providers, as proposed in the CY 2010 Physician Fee Schedule Rule.