Submitted Comments

February 16, 2017
The Alliance provided oral testimony at the FCSO public meeting on wound care LCD (DL37166). Testimony focused on: the lack of coverage for disposal negative pressure wound therapy (dNPWT); utilization parameters proposed for NPWT; utilization guidelines that limited debridement; and concerns with policies surrounding the application of Unna Boots or a multi-layer compression system. 
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January 26, 2017
The Alliance provided oral testimony at the Novitas Solutions public meeting convened to collect feedback on its wound care LCD (DL35125). Alliance testimony focused on several key issues: the lack of coverage for disposal negative pressure wound therapy (dNPWT); utilization parameters proposed for NPWT that are not based on evidence or clinical practice; utilization guidelines that limited debridement; and concerns with policies surrounding the application of Unna Boots or a multi-layer compression system. 
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December 19, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to CMS on its rule: Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Under the Physician Fee Schedule, and Criteria for Physician-Focused Payment Models. Comments focused on ensuring that CMS considered of the impacts of the evolving value-based care/payment reform policies to wound care. The Alliance submitted comments to MACRA's quality physician payment proposed rule as well as on the "quality measures development plan," "patient relationships categories and codes," and "episode groups" draft policies.
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November 21, 2016
The Alliance submitted detailed comments advocating that solid wound dressings combined with drugs that are formulated as cream, gel, or ointment, should be classified as Class II with special controls. The Alliance also expressed its agreement with the FDA's use of multiple product classification categories for antimicrobial products currently regulated in the FRO category (i.e., solids, cream/gel/ointment and liquid washes). The Alliance clarified that the wound care products in the FRO category containing such items as silver, PHMB, Cadexomer iodine and honey under discussion at the Panel meeting should be categorized as antiseptics and do not appear to contribute to antibiotic resistance. Comments clarified that antimicrobial wound care dressings are not intended to treat or heal the wound; instead the specific claims made in the labeling for these products include: maintain a moist wound environment, covers and protects the wounds, provides a barrier to penetration of microbes to the wound, which may reduce the risk of infection, etc.
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October 24, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to the FDA on its draft guidance "Use of Real World Evidence to Support Regulatory Decision-making for Medical Devices." The Alliance voiced support for the use of data from registries, claims, and electronic health records when evaluating medical devices. Comments also addressed the limitations of randomized clinical trials in evaluating the effectiveness of a wound care product. The Alliance provided specific examples of how registry data could be used in assessing the safety of a wound care medical device.
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September 27, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to the FDA draft guidance "Homologous Use of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products." Comments identified specific areas of the regulation that needed additional clarity and alignment across guidances in order to make them clinically meaningful, accurate, and consistent with - rather than contradictory to - existing regulations.
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September 27, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to the FDA on its "Minimal Manipulation of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products - draft guidances for industry and FDA staff." The Alliance highlighted a number of issues with regard to "main function" and "basic function" terminology in the guidance. Comments also identified multiple inconsistencies between the "Minimal Manipulation" guidance and the "Homologous Use" guidance. The Alliance encouraged the FDA should work with stakeholders to develop an appropriate guidance document that is consistent with guidances and current regulatory language and that provides needed clarity.
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September 12, 2016
The Alliance delivered oral comments at the FDA's September 2016 Public Hearing on Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products. The Alliance express concern with the narrow definition of homologous use of amnion tissue and how that will impact wound care, as there are many basic functions of amniotic tissue that should be used for wound healing. The Alliance noted that there are many significant new requirements within the minimal manipulation document which not only conflict with the homologous use document, they conflict with current regulatory language.
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September 6, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to CMS on the CY 2017 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System noting that no measures in the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting program are specific to wound care. The Alliance reminded CMS that there are 21 quality measures specific to the practice of wound care, fully programmed, as electronic clinical quality measures available within the U.S. Wound Registry Qualified Clinical Data Registry. Furthermore the Alliance expressed concerns on the flawed methodology CMS uses to calculate the payment for cellular and tissue-based products for wounds (CTPs, referred to in the policy as skin substitutes).
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September 6, 2016
The Alliance submitted comments to CMS on its proposed Physician Fee Schedule update: "CMS-1654-P: Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2017; Medicare Advantage Pricing Data Release; Medicare Advantage and Part D Medical Low Ratio Data Release; Medicare Advantage Provider Network Requirements; Expansion of Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Model." Alliance comments focused on wound care services it viewed as improperly/inaccurately valued by the fee schedule. The Alliance also called for increased transparency on how CMS will use global service data. Additional, the Alliance requested that CMS review its criteria for the expansions of the upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program model as the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP).
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