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CMS Finalizes Policies that Reduce Provider Burden, Lower Drug Prices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule for the 2018 Physician Fee Schedule and final rule with comment period for the Quality Payment Program (QPP). While part of CMS’s broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens for providers, these rules also reflect the agency’s efforts to promote innovation in healthcare delivery aimed at lowering prices, increasing competition and strengthening the relationship between patients and their doctors.  As part of the President’s priority to reduce drug costs for Americans, CMS is taking an important step in the Physician Fee Schedule to modernize the Medicare payment system through innovation in the biopharmaceutical market. Beginning in 2018, CMS will update payment for biosimilars, which are lower-cost alternatives to certain types of drugs known as “biologicals.” This change promotes competition to ensure millions of patients will have access to new lower cost therapies.

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