Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2018) —The National Medical Association (NMA) has issued the following statement in response to the announcement made by the Department of Health and Human Services on changes to the Medicare Part B program:
The National Medical Association is the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. Selecting the proper treatment as quickly as possible can be critical for many of our patients, who often have multiple diagnoses and serious life-threatening conditions. This proposal would not only disrupt the physician-patient decision making process, but also places an undue burden in customizing care for chronically ill patients.
Patients facing a difficult diagnosis look to their doctors for guidance. Unfortunately, the recently announced Medicare Part B proposal from HHS would create obstacles for patients seeking treatment. The proposal adds middlemen, in the form of third party vendors, into the process and alters the reimbursement structures. Both of these changes could restrict access to certain life-saving drugs.
The last thing patients seeking treatment should have to consider are delays, switches in medications and incorrect dosages created by these additional administrative burdens. This proposal would limit access to life-saving drugs and have a disproportionate impact to African American patients.