Submitted Comments

The Coalition is the respected and credible unified voice of manufacturers of wound care products and technologies. We advocate and educate policymakers, legislators, public and private payers and the other relevant entities to ensure patient and provider access to wound care products and services. We address a broad range of issues and product categories. Our submitted comments are below:

February 28, 2024
In comments submitted to the FDA's proposed rule on classification of certain wound dressings and the accompanying requirements for premarket approval applications, the Coalition flagged the many "gaps and ambiguities" in the current policy, the reduced availability of wound dressing products that could result, and the harm this could cause to wound management and patient outcomes. Given these significant concerns, the Coalition requested that the Agency withdraw the policy for futher vetting. "Limiting access to these products could lead clinicians to prescribe more systemic antibiotics, which will adversely affect antibiotic resistance and stewardship initiatives. Furthermore, if FDA wants to proceed, in addition to the impact analysis, we request that it publish a new proposed classification rule and companion guidance with details regarding special controls and test standards that are currently lacking, estimates of the true cost of the proposed rule so as to ensure currently marketed products stay on the market with their current indications and without the need to submit new 510(k)s," the Coalition wrote. 

See Coalition Comments
September 11, 2023
The Coalition submitted comments to CMS's proposed 2024 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) focused on the CTPs (skin substitutes) section of the proposed rule, flagging patient access issues as well as inconsistency in the way products are being treated in both payment and coverage depending on the HCPCS code being issued despite the products all being categorized as skin substitutes. The Coalition recommended that CMS withdraw its policy to package payment and instead utilize ASP +6 for all skin substitutes and publish all data in the pricing data file. "Given the mandatory submission of ASP for all skin substitutes, CMS should use the data that is already being provided to it to form the payment for any given skin substitute," the Coalition wrote. To address inequities in the current payment system that continue to create barriers to access, the Coalition elevated the following recommendations - each of which was endorsed by the Agency's Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment:
  1. assign the existing CPT® add-on codes (15272, 15276, 15274, and 15278) and HCPCS codes (C5272, C5276, C5274, and C5278) to appropriate APC groups allowing for separate payment; and issue an exception to separately pay for these add-on codes.
  2. assign the CPT and HCPCS codes for the same size wound, regardless of anatomical location on the body, to the same APC groups.
  3. assign all new CTPs with both Q and A HCPCS codes to the low-cost APC groups until a manufacturer provides cost information to CMS.
  4. realign both the high-cost and low-cost application procedure codes to higher paying APC groups that reflect the current average sales prices of all CTPs.
  5. not assign CTPs that are not in sheet form (e.g., gel, powder, ointment, foam, liquid, or injected) to any APC group.

Read Coalition Comments
September 11, 2023
The Coalition submitted comments to CMS' proposed 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule voicing opposition to the Agency's proposal to treat CTPs (skin substitutes) as “incident to supplies” when furnished in non-facility settings and to include the costs of these products as resource inputs in establishing practice expense RVUs for associated physician’s services, rather than reimburse them separately. The Coalition outlined specific concerns, requested that CMS withdraw the proposal, and recommended instead that CMS maintain and enforce ASP pricing – "the most consistent pricing for CTPs that should and can be utilized across payment settings."
Read Coalition Comments
June 8, 2023
The Coalition submitted comments to the proposed FY 2024 Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) highlighting support for the proposal related to the Hospital Harm – Pressure Injury electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) included in the draft rule. "The Coalition supports and encourages the continued development of quality measures that assess wound care outcomes, as wound care clinicians should be required to report on measures that relate to the care that they deliver allowing CMS to effectively track and report the quality of that care. As such, we support the inclusion and adoption of the Hospital Harm - Pressure Injury eCQM. This measure is designed to reduce pressure injury prevalence through rate transparency utilizing complete data extraction of Electronic Health Records (EHR). We believe that pressure injury rate transparency will lead hospitals to identify and implement best practice improvements, which will reduce hospital-acquired pressure injuries," the Coalition wrote.
Read Coalition comments.
February 10, 2023
Following oral remarks made at CMS' January 2023 Skin Substitutes Town Hall meeting, the Coalition submitted written comments to expand upon its remarks and reiterate to the Agency that the proposed seismic changes to the payment methodology for CTPs ("skin substitutes") will lead to significant limitations on the access to care for numerous patient populations including but not limited to: minorities, patients in rural areas and patients with diabetes. "The bundling of skin substitutes is not in the best interest of Medicare beneficiaries who are likely going to be subjected to unnecessary anesthesia and longer waits to get their wounds treated as operating room time is difficult to come by. Most importantly, as a result of the potential to limit access to care, there could be increases in infections, amputations, and sadly, loss of life," wrote the Coalition. The Coalition urged CMS to NOT move forward with any proposed rulemaking for CY 2024, but instead to issue a "framework document" – as it did for 505 (2)(b) drugs – to allow for substantive information to be provided by the Agency for stakeholders to react to in a more informed fashion.  
Read Coalition comments
January 18, 2023
The Coalition provided oral comment at the Skin Substitutes Town Hall convened by CMS to collect stakeholder feedback related to changes in payment and terminology of skin substitute products under the Physician Fee Schedule. The Coalition provided perspective to the Agency on its four proposed questions, addressing: 1) What should we consider as part of CMS efforts to ensure consistent, fair, and appropriate payment for services and products across different settings of care? 2) How could we ensure that valuation under the PFS adequately accounts for variability in relative resource costs of different skin substitute products as supplies within the Practice Expense Relative Value Unit (PE RVU) methodology? 3) Are there similarly resourced groups of products/services that could inform how payment might be stratified without risking access to services? 4) What should we consider as alternatives regarding any potential changes to terminology?
The Coalition urged CMS to be more transparent and provide more information to stakeholders before any rulemaking on this issue takes place and recommended that the Agency issue a framework document prior to any rulemaking for stakeholders to respond to.

See Coalition Testimony
November 18, 2022

The Coalition submitted comments to Cigna Government Services (CGS) on its draft LCD for Skin Substitutes for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers (DL36690) and the accompanying Local Coverage Article addressing Billing and Coding (DA56696). The Coalition voiced concerns that CGS created an LCD/LCA that was virtually verbatim to what was issued by Novitas and First Coast, whose own policies were fraught with clinical inaccuracies and were not supported by current clinical evidence. Specific policy provisions addressed in the Coalition's comments include:
- Application limitation over a 12 week timeframe
- Tissue Reference Group (TRG) letters
- Evidentiary requirements
- Coverage decisions being made in an article

The Coalition recommended that CGS pull the draft policies, then work with stakeholders and its Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) to craft a more clinically accurate policy that is based on the most currently available evidence so that patient care will not be negatively impacted.
Read Coalition Comments

October 25, 2022
The Coalition voiced its concerns with CGS's proposed LCD/LCA on Skin Substitutes for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers with oral testimony at the Medicare Administrative Contractors' public meeting recommending that CGS withdraw the draft, then work with stakeholders and the CAC to craft a more accurate policy based on the most currently available evidence. The Coalition elevated its concern that CGS issued an LCD/LCA that is verbatim to what was issued by Novitas and First Coast, without doing its own due diligence to evaluate the evidence supporting the policies. The Coalition emphasized its concerns with:
  1. The allowance of only 4 applications of a specific product is an arbitrary application limitation not based on evidence.
  2. The inappropriateness of language in the policy that refers to CTPs as "surgical supplies" - which is clinically incorrect.
  3. The lack of clarity and transparency on the specific evidence required of manufacturers in order for their products to be placed in the Group 2 covered product listing.
  4. The lack of evidence to substantiate the significant changes that CGS is attempting to make. 

See Coalition Testimony
September 30, 2022
The Coalition sent a letter to Guidewell Source, the parent company of Medicare Administrative Contractors Novitas and First Coat Service Options, requesting that the two MACs withdraw their proposed Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs) Skin Substitutes for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers (DL35041 and DL36377) and Local Coverage Articles (LCAs): Billing and Coding: Skin Substitutes for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers (DA54117 and DA57680). The Coalition informed Guidewell that many of the provisions in the policies are  contrary to clinical practice guidelines and research, and in several instances are in conflict with the very evidence cited in the draft policies. The Coalition also urged Guidewell to intervene because the draft LCDs and LCAs violate several statutory provisions – which is problematic given the negative impact to patient care and access.
See the Coalition's letter
September 24, 2022
The Coalition submitted comments to Novitas and First Coast Service Option expressing its major concerns with the proposed LCD (DL35041/DL36377) and LCA (DA54117/DA57680) on Skin Substitutes for the Treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Venous Leg Ulcers. The comments follow initial submission of detailed feedback in May 2022 and oral testimony at MACs' August public meeting. The Coalition again raised the following objections in its submitted comments:
  • The policies are not in the best interest of patients.
  • The policies are not supported by clinical evidence or guidelines. Evidence has been omitted from the policy review. What has been utilized is either not the most currently available, or is used in such a way that is contradictory to the points Novitas/FCSO is trying to make.
  • There is NO new evidence to support the movement of more than 40 products from the covered to the non-covered list.
See Coalition Comments
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