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Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee

CMS solicited public comment on our intent to revise the Charter for our Federal Advisory committee, the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC). The most substantial change we are proposing to the current Charter is the ability for CMS to broaden the use of the Representative role on MEDCAC. Under the proposed Charter, at-large members to MEDCAC (those not in special roles like the Chairs, industry representatives and patient advocates) will be able to elect to serve as either an Special Government Employee (SGE) or a Representative. The Representative is allowed to be informed by his/her supporting constituency prior to the meeting, in comparison to the SGE who represents only himself or herself.

The comment period closed on September 2nd.   We received 28 comments on our proposed charter.  The proposed Charter and our current Charter are available below.

The Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) was established to provide independent guidance and expert advice to CMS on specific clinical topics. The MEDCAC is used to supplement CMS' internal expertise and to allow an unbiased and current deliberation of "state of the art" technology and science.  The MEDCAC reviews and evaluates medical literature, technology assessments, and examines data and information on the effectiveness and appropriateness of medical items and services that are covered under Medicare, or that may be eligible for coverage under Medicare. The MEDCAC judges the strength of the available evidence and makes recommendations to CMS based on that evidence.

We select up to 100 experts in clinical and administrative medicine, biologic and physical sciences, public health administration, patient advocacy, health care data and information management and analysis, health care economics, and medical ethics to serve on the MEDCAC. We select no more than 15 members with knowledge specific to the topic in question to serve on the panel for each MEDCAC meeting.  We may recruit non-MEDCAC members who have relevant expertise to provide additional input to panel members and invite experts to make formal presentations to the MEDCAC for a particular meeting.  The panel meets in a public forum approximately 4-8 times a year to review medical evidence for the topic under deliberation, listen to public testimony, and provide advice about the quality of the evidence.   

MEDCAC meetings are announced in the "Federal Register" and on CMS' website.  Our coverage website contains a guidance document entitled "Factors CMS Considers in Referring Topics to the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee"; the MEDCAC's charter, the 1998 "Federal Register" notice that established the MEDCAC (formerly known as the MCAC); the current roster of MEDCAC members; and other informational materials.

For those attending a MEDCAC meeting: MEDCAC has gone green! We will no longer be providing copies of meeting materials. All materials will be available on our website prior to the meeting date.