Bipartisan duo to drop cancer drug payment bill

Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Gene Green (D-Texas) are set to introduce legislation Thursday afternoon that increases Medicare drug reimbursements for community oncology clinics.

The so-called "prompt pay" legislation excludes certain discounts extended to wholesalers when calculating Medicare reimbursements and is strongly supported by oncologists. 

Whitfield told The Hill the biggest obstacle would be finding a way to pay for the bill, which hasn't been scored yet. He said he's started looking for a pay-for within the healthcare reform law.

"On any legislation today, you have to find a way to pay for it. And like any legislation, that's an issue with this one," Whitefield said. 

"But to be truthful, because of the oncologist groups and patient groups and others, we think that there may be some provisions in the healthcare bill that passed last year that we may be able to utilize some of those funds for this. All of it's about healthcare, and if we can convince people that this is more important than the others then we can do it."

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