Health Policy Check Up News

Medicare Part B: The Home Infusion Switch To ASP and What is Next

At the end of last year there was a significant switch for home infusion from AWP to ASP + 6 in Medicare Part B. This switch happened through the Cures Act which also created a mechanism for a special home infusion service payment. In order to pay for this new payment, CMS urged Congress to change the AWP payment for home infusion drugs to the industry standard of ASP +6. Doing so created smaller payments for home infusion and the switch was effective in 2017. The service payment will not be in effect until 2021. There is legislation currently in Congress that addresses the gap before the service payment is effective.

The House of Representatives has passed the Medicare Part B Improvement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3178) which would create a temporary transitional payment, beginning January 1, 2019, for services related to Medicare Part B Durable Medical Equipment (DME) infusion drugs before a permanent payment structure, that was part of the 21st Century Cures Act, is finalized in 2021. The bill is currently in the Senate.

H.R. 3163, introduced by Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), creates a transition payment for home infusion therapies for Medicare beneficiaries to ensure there is no gap in care.

It is not clear when this legislation will take the next step forward. CMS may lag behind the 2021 deadline in creating regulations for the service payment. Additionally, Congress may be preoccupied with the debt ceiling debate that could further delay the legislation. If you have questions, contact us today.