The number of older patients receiving a marrow transplant has increased significantly in recent years. But due to Medicare payment policies, transplant centers are losing thousands of dollars on each Medicare beneficiary they treat making it difficult for them to continue performing transplants for these patients.
In 2015, 138 hospitals around the country provided this life-saving therapy to nearly 1,200 Medicare beneficiaries. Patients like Ed, who received his transplant when he was 68 years old.
“Our oldest grandchild was 6 years old and the youngest was just 9 months when I had my transplant,” commented Ed. “I’ve been able watch them grow up and they’ve had the chance to know their grandfather as a person, not a picture.”
Ed says his transplant has given him the gift of life and the gift of time. And he’s making the most of it. In addition to spending time with family, he is very active in his church and has volunteered over 400 hours with Be The Match: connecting with patients, transplant centers and legislators.
“After my transplant, I’m more aware of the issues which people [like me] can face, and I’m trying to give back,” said Ed.
Medicare patients need your help
We need your help to ensure patients who are Medicare beneficiaries have the same access to transplant as those who have commercial insurance.
What Medicare reimburses hospital transplant centers does not cover the costs of searching for a donor and obtaining their cells. If CMS does not reform the current payment policy for transplant hospitals will not be able to keep treating Medicare patients, like Ed.
This spring, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will determine the Medicare payment policy for inpatient transplants for the coming year.
Please submit a comment letter to CMS urging them to adequately reimburse for marrow transplant so patients can get the care they need. You can customize our pre-written letter and send it directly to the decision-makers at CMS.
We need comments from passionate people like you to help CMS understand how important this is. Thank you for your support!
Interested in legislation and policy changes that affects transplant patients? Learn more at BeTheMatch.org/advocacy.