WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2023 – Patients covered by Medicare would save hundreds of dollars annually on average if site-neutral reforms are adopted, according to a new study conducted by Wakely actuarial firm. The analysis is the first to comprehensively examine how much individual patients would save if critical site-neutral reforms were enacted by Congress this year.
The study finds that patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions – including blood cancer, breast cancer, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more – could save even more. For example, a patient with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, would save $1,219 in out-of-pocket costs annually.
“For the first time, we know how much patients with specific conditions would save with site-neutral reforms – and it’s a lot,” said Brian Connell, vice president for federal affairs at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). “These findings make a clear case for leveraging targeted site-neutral policies to lower costs for patients and for taxpayers.”
Under current law, patients covered by Medicare are charged different rates for care depending on where they receive it or the “site of service.” This often results in higher out-of-pocket costs for patients who receive care at hospitals or sites affiliated with hospitals – even for routine services.
Congress is considering enacting site-neutral payments, which would ensure that patients pay the same price for certain routine medical services regardless of where they receive their healthcare.
“In a world where 63% of Americans are forced to make sacrifices to afford healthcare, seeing how much individual patients could save should be a wake-up call for legislators who are on the fence about site-neutral reforms,” said Connell. “Patients simply can’t afford for Congress to delay addressing health care costs – and this is a solution with clear patient benefits.”