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RAND: Medicare should weigh cost in coverage decisions

Kaiser Health News, April 25, 2014

The agency that oversees the Medicare program should be able to consider the cost effectiveness of drugs and medical devices when making coverage determinations, according to a new report by the RAND Corporation. But study authors acknowledge that this recommendation — a significant change from current practice in which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is barred from considering cost – has little chance of being implemented because it would require Congressional action. "My impression is that changing Medicare will be very difficult. It may have to wait until more people believe we're in a crisis," said Steve Garber, a RAND senior economist.