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Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies?

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To explore payer feedback regarding awareness of new gene therapies, sustainability of current financing mechanisms, unique challenges by payer segment, and need and preference for new financial models.

STUDY DESIGN

Qualitative interview with standardized interview guide.

METHODS

Sixty-minute telephone interviews were conducted with financial decision makers from 15 US payers between August and September 2017.

RESULTS

One-third of payers interviewed (n = 5) were newly aware and learning about new gene therapies, 40% (n = 6) described watchful waiting, whereas 26.7% (n = 4) were engaged in active management. New payment models-specifically, performance-based agreements and risk-pooling-were supported by 47% (n = 7) of payers, whereas the current payment model was supported by 53% (n = 8). Major challenges included uncertainty related to utilization, cost, and duration of cure. Payers cited regulation, plan turnover, and ability to track long-term outcomes as barriers to implementation of new models.

CONCLUSIONS

Access to new gene therapies may be impacted by payer ability to absorb the cost of coverage. Variation exists in awareness of new gene therapies and level of incorporation of new costs into future plan coverage. The sustainability of current financing mechanisms varies by payer segment, profitability, and size; smaller plans and Medicaid are likely to be impacted first. Government reinsurance, commercial reinsurance, and stop-loss insurance backstop current reimbursement models, dampening the need for urgent action. The tipping point for action may be severe premium inflation in stop loss and reinsurance. Payers are open to innovative financing models that improve financial predictability and reward clinical performance.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Center for Biomedical Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address: jfbarlow@mit.edu.

    ,

    Center for Biomedical Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

    Center for Biomedical Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

    Source

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    31198180

    Citation

    Barlow, Jane F., et al. "Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies?" Value in Health : the Journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, vol. 22, no. 6, 2019, pp. 642-647.
    Barlow JF, Yang M, Teagarden JR. Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies? Value Health. 2019;22(6):642-647.
    Barlow, J. F., Yang, M., & Teagarden, J. R. (2019). Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies? Value in Health : the Journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 22(6), pp. 642-647. doi:10.1016/j.jval.2018.12.004.
    Barlow JF, Yang M, Teagarden JR. Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies. Value Health. 2019;22(6):642-647. PubMed PMID: 31198180.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Are Payers Ready, Willing, and Able to Provide Access to New Durable Gene Therapies? AU - Barlow,Jane F, AU - Yang,Mo, AU - Teagarden,J Russell, Y1 - 2019/05/17/ PY - 2018/03/23/received PY - 2018/09/28/revised PY - 2018/12/20/accepted PY - 2019/6/15/entrez SP - 642 EP - 647 JF - Value in health : the journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research JO - Value Health VL - 22 IS - 6 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To explore payer feedback regarding awareness of new gene therapies, sustainability of current financing mechanisms, unique challenges by payer segment, and need and preference for new financial models. STUDY DESIGN: Qualitative interview with standardized interview guide. METHODS: Sixty-minute telephone interviews were conducted with financial decision makers from 15 US payers between August and September 2017. RESULTS: One-third of payers interviewed (n = 5) were newly aware and learning about new gene therapies, 40% (n = 6) described watchful waiting, whereas 26.7% (n = 4) were engaged in active management. New payment models-specifically, performance-based agreements and risk-pooling-were supported by 47% (n = 7) of payers, whereas the current payment model was supported by 53% (n = 8). Major challenges included uncertainty related to utilization, cost, and duration of cure. Payers cited regulation, plan turnover, and ability to track long-term outcomes as barriers to implementation of new models. CONCLUSIONS: Access to new gene therapies may be impacted by payer ability to absorb the cost of coverage. Variation exists in awareness of new gene therapies and level of incorporation of new costs into future plan coverage. The sustainability of current financing mechanisms varies by payer segment, profitability, and size; smaller plans and Medicaid are likely to be impacted first. Government reinsurance, commercial reinsurance, and stop-loss insurance backstop current reimbursement models, dampening the need for urgent action. The tipping point for action may be severe premium inflation in stop loss and reinsurance. Payers are open to innovative financing models that improve financial predictability and reward clinical performance. SN - 1524-4733 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31198180/Are_Payers_Ready,_Willing,_and_Able_to_Provide_Access_to_New_Durable_Gene_Therapies L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1098-3015(19)30037-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -