The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) also protested that the new CMS policy could result in a demand for many more blood transfusions. A survey of the ACCC hospital membership showed that 40.9% of respondents indicated that a 30% increase in demand would cause problems in carrying out normal transfusion services. Another 16.5% said even a 10% or less increase in demand for blood transfusions would cause problems, and 21.7% said any increase would result in problems.
The survey was sent to 650 ACCC member hospitals, and 115 respondedincluding rural (20%), urban (39%), and suburban (41%) hospitals.
One issue that did not get the attention of CMS, Christian Downs, JD, MHA, ACCC executive director, emphasized, "was the impact on hospitals, which are going to bear the brunt of increased blood transfusions."
The resolution introduced into the Senate echoes this concern. "Such restriction could increase blood transfusions and severely compromise the high quality of cancer care delivered by physicians in the United States," it states. The resolution points out that CMS had said that impact on the nation's blood supply was not relevant for consideration in this national coverage determination.
The proposed Senate resolution asks CMS to immediately reconsider its findings in the National Coverage Determination on the Use of Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agents in Cancer and Related Neoplastic Conditions (CAG-000383N). The senators want CMS to consult with the clinical oncology community and "implement appropriate revisions to such final National Coverage Determination as soon as feasible."