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After 4 Years of Trump, Medicare and Medicaid Badly Need Attention

Many promising ideas won't work as expected, and that's all the more reason for CMS to evaluate how medical care is delivered to its patients.
Originally published on 12/01/2020 in New York Times

Science has been under assault at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Trump administration implemented a plan to strip CMS of its ability to assess for itself whether new medical devices approved by the FDA are appropriate for the older patients it covers. The proposed rule requires Medicare to pay for any new device labeled as "breakthrough" by the FDA, which can be designated even when not yet proven to be helpful to patients with serious conditions. The designation is irrelevant to how the device works in older patients, or whether the device was studied in that population at all. Besides evaluating new treatments, CMS tests alternative ways to organize and pay for care. However, these experiments should be backed by rigorous analysis and evidence based on completed studies. Dr. Bach comments on how it is more important than ever for the CMS to accurately evaluate how medical care is delivered to its patients. 

Read the full op-ed here.

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