CMS CREATES MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a Medical Technology Council to facilitate timely and appropriate access for Medicare beneficiaries to new and emerging technologies, CMS Administrator Tom Scully announced today.
"This new council will reduce the time needed for making and implementing Medicare coverage decisions for new technologies and making CMS’ process as seamless as possible for outside stakeholders," Scully said.
Improving the process by which CMS decides whether to cover new technology approved by the Food and Drug Administration is an issue raised by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson’s Advisory Committee on Regulatory Reform.
The committee reported that "streamlining the process by which CMS decides whether to pay for new technologies approved by FDA would enable Medicare beneficiaries to receive important new treatments sooner."
The Medical Technology Council (MTC) will be composed of the director of CMS ’ Center for Medicare Management and the director of the Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. Staff from these two CMS components and others will attend and participate in council meetings, depending on the agenda. The council will meet bi-monthly as well as on an as-needed basis.
The MTC will improve Medicare policy relating to coverage, coding, and payment for emerging technologies and facilitate orderly and timely operation of these policies. Its primary activity will be to expedite resolution of technology coverage issues by consulting with all affected CMS components, developing resolution plans, clarifying responsibilities, establishing time frames, and following up to ensure resolution.
Areas of interest the council may review include general policy issues related to medical technology, such as the appropriate use of Medicare-specific medical codes, and qualification standards for new technology payments. It also may consider applications for national coverage decision and for special payments under inpatient and outpatient technology provisions.
The council may discuss ways to improve coordination of approval processes, including improved coordination between CMS and the FDA and improvements in the interaction of coverage, coding, and payment decision processes.