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Ask Congress to protect access for patients

As of today, there are 22 co-sponsors of HR 4215, the Protect Access to Cellular Transplant (PACT) Act of 2017. We need your help to increase those numbers so that the House and Senate leadership take notice and try to pass the bill this summer. This legislation would not cost the federal government more money, but would require the Medicare program to pay transplant centers the cost of acquiring bone marrow, peripheral blood stem cells, and cord blood. Current Medicare rates leave hospitals with tens of thousands of dollars of costs that are not paid for by the program. Hospitals cannot shoulder this burden and access to transplants is at risk. The policy in HR 4215 is one on which Medicare already relies for solid organs; it should apply the same policy to cellular transplants.

It is more important than ever that the Congress acts. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which operates the Medicare program, just closed the comment period on a new hospital payment rule at the end of June. Although CMS received several hundred comments supporting a policy change, it is highly unlikely the agency will solve the problem as part of its rule making process. For any change to take place, we need the Congress to act quickly before the new rates take effect October 1.

You can help by asking your Member of Congress to co-sponsor HR 4215 and support its immediate passage. Act now to let your voice be heard.