Washington—So severe is the cost-cutting in proposals the US government is considering for reimbursement of hospital outpatient transfusion treatments for a number of disorders that the providers of these services warn they may be discontinued. Hospitals will no longer be able to afford to provide them, warned speakers at a recent meeting of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Blood Safety and Availability.
The speakers represented a broad spectrum of the hematology, plasma-derived products, and blood banking communities. At issue is a looming threat by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to slash reimbursement to hospitals for the provision of blood products, plasma derivatives (including intravenous γ-globulin and clotting factors), recombinant products, and apheresis services in the outpatient setting. The proposed payment schedule, which would pay hospitals a fraction of the costs of actually providing these services, would initially affect only Medicare beneficiaries but would be expected to be quickly adopted by others.
Marwick C. Like Trying to Get Blood From a . . . Federal Agency. JAMA. 1999;282(14):1318-1319. doi:10.1001/jama.282.14.1318-JMN1013-2-1