Proposed change to Massachusetts’ Medicaid program could harm cancer patients

October 30, 2017

A waiver proposal put forward by the state of Massachusetts could have devastating consequences for some cancer patients.

Massachusetts has recently asked the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve a proposal that could significantly restrict what drugs Medicaid patients in the state can access, including lifesaving cancer drugs.

This proposed policy - which no other state has adopted – puts low-income cancer patients in Massachusetts at risk.

Under the proposal, even if a doctor knows the drugs the state Medicaid program covers won’t effectively treat a patient's cancer, the patient may have to go through an appeals process to receive a different drug.

ACS CAN joined a coalition of 220 organizations opposing this Massachusetts proposal by sending a letter to CMS and joined partner groups in an ad campaign urging CMS to reject Massachusetts’ request.

Cancer patients should have access to the drugs they need to treat their cancer.