August 11, 2021
Senate Passes Infrastructure Deal with Medicare Savings and Drug Shortage Provisions
This week, the Senate passed a wide-ranging infrastructure package with bipartisan support. The $1.2 trillion bill is aimed at rebuilding roads and bridges, installing broadband, and funding climate resilience initiatives, among other infrastructure priorities. This legislation extends Medicare payment cuts in future years as a source of funding for the infrastructure package.
The package would extend a 2% cut to all Medicare payments to providers to 2031. This payment cut was implemented as part of sequestration, but was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic; ASA has worked to advance legislation to avoid payment cuts.
Another provision in the bill allows the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) to collect a rebate from drug manufacturers on 100% of waste above a 10% low volume threshold for vials of Medicare Part B medications. This measure aims to reduce costs for patients and payers by incentivizing drugmakers to phase out high-volume, single-use drug containers with more doses than needed by patients. ASA has long supported addressing vial sizes and drug waste, and commends Congress for the inclusion of this language.
ASA will continue to monitor the infrastructure package as it advances to the House of Representatives and will provide updates if any changes relevant to our members are added to the bill.