Advocacy and Public Policy

CMS Accepting Nominations for MEDCAC

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently seeking nominees for the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC).  There are 100 members of the MEDCAC, with 42 membership terms expiring this year.  Nominations are due to CMS by Monday, September 24, 2012. 

CMS established MEDCAC to provide independent guidance and expert advice on specific clinical topics.  The agency uses MEDCAC to supplement its internal expertise and allow for an unbiased and current deliberation of "state of the art" technology and science. 

MEDCAC reviews and evaluates medical literature, technology assessments, and examines data and information on the effectiveness and appropriateness of medical items and services that are
covered under Medicare, or that may be eligible for coverage under Medicare.  After this evaluation, MEDCAC judges the strength of the available evidence and makes recommendations to CMS based on that evidence.

The panel meets publicly at CMS headquarters in Baltimore approximately 4-8 times a year to review medical evidence for the topic under deliberation, listen to public testimony, and provide advice about the quality of the evidence on that topic.  However, of the 100 members, CMS only selects up to 15 members with knowledge specific to the topic in question to serve on the panel for each MEDCAC meeting. It is unlikely that any one MEDCAC member will be asked to participate more than once in any given year. CMS arranges and/reimburses for travel and lodging expenses, as well as a
government per diem for meals and incidentals, for participating MEDCAC
members.

The specific tasks of the Committee include: 

  • Reviewing evidence regarding specific clinical topics and providing advice to CMS according to a framework of issues/questions established by CMS
  • Considering and acting upon such other requests for assessments and tasks
  • Helping to facilitate full and complete clinical and other technical staffing for Committee meetings as indicated by specific issues
  • Reviewing and submitting reports to CMS
  • Advising CMS as part of Medicare coverage evidence development activities

Members of MEDCAC generally are recognized authorities in clinical medicine including subspecialties, administrative medicine, public health, biological and physical sciences, epidemiology and biostatistics, clinical trial design, health care data management and analysis, patient advocacy, health care economics, medical ethics or other relevant professions. CMS requires that nominees for voting membership also must have expertise and experience in one or more of the following fields: clinical medicine including subspecialties; administrative medicine; public health; biological and physical
sciences; epidemiology and biostatistics; clinical trial design; health care data management and analysis; patient advocacy; health care economics; medical ethics; or other relevant professions. 

In this most recent call for nominations, CMS specifically identified several fields where they are looking for experts to serve on the panel.  Some fields that may be relevant to the ASN membership include:
genomics; Bayesian statistics; clinical epidemiology; clinical trial methodology; screening and diagnostic testing analysis; biostatistics in clinical settings; cardiovascular epidemiology; geriatrics; minority health; observational research design; and, women’s health.

More information about MEDCAC is available online at: http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/FACA/MEDCAC.html.  If you are interested in being nominated by ASN, or nominating yourself, please click here.