This year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated a one-year demonstration project titled “Demonstration of Improved Quality of Care for Cancer Patients Undergoiong Chemotherapy.” The focus of the project was on measuring patient outcomes in three areas of concern often cited by patients undergoing chemotherapy: controlling pain, minimizing nausea and vomiting, and reducing fatigue.
October 6, 2005 H.Res. 261, a resolution introduced by Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-4) on May 4, 2005, passed the U.S. House of Representives in a voice vote. At the time of its passage the resolution had 33 cosponsors.
The purpose of the resolution, described in the title, was to express
>”the sense of the House of Representatives that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should be commended for implementing the Medicare demonstration project to assess the quality of care of cancer patients undergoiong chemotherapy, and should extend the project through 2006, subject to any appropriate modifications.”
Rep. Hall said the following about the need to extend this demonstration project in a floor statement he made the day of the resolution passed:
>”Delivering cancer treatment involves more than simply providing chemotherapy drugs. Oncologists need to plan drug regimens, educate caregivers, and monitor patient symptoms. They are responsible for managing pain, minimizing nausea, and limiting fatigue.
>”The demonstration project was critically important to protecting quality cancer care in 2005. It provided resources to assess the patient experience with chemotherapy side effects, including pain, nausea, and fatigue. The project has achieved three important objectives: collecting data to improve the quality of cancer care, maintaining stability in the cancer care delivery system, and focusing limited resources in an aspect of cancer treatment most difficult for patients.”
CMS conducts and sponsors a number of demonstrations projects to test and measure the effect of potential program changes.