The Myth of Perverse Physician Incentives: Examining Research and Accusations in the Medicare Part B ASP Reimbursement System for Oncology

December 31, 2018

A frequent accusation aimed at physicians who prescribe and administer medications within the Medicare Part B system is that they are motivated by a perverse incentive of higher reimbursement to prescribe expensive drugs. For oncologists, who utilize potentially life-saving, but increasingly very expensive drugs in treating some of the nation’s sickest patients, this is a baseless charge, often made without any evidence to support it.

Cancer drugs are amongst the costliest medications available today. For many patients, the cost of a full course of treatment in the United States can be financially toxic and catastrophic. The country currently sits on the precipice of proposed drug system changes of considerable magnitude and scope. Several proposals under considera