ASCO in ActionASCO in Action regularly provides the latest news and analysis related to cancer policy news; see the following online articles. These updates provide snapshots of ASCO’s ongoing advocacy efforts, as well as opportunities for ASCO members and guests to take action on critical issues affecting the cancer community.

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E.g., 07/23/2016
E.g., 07/23/2016
July 22, 2016

On July 18, ASCO submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the agency’s “Notice of Availability of the Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations; Draft Guidance for Industry" in support FDA’s work to advance interoperability between EHRs and electronic data capture systems and electronic case report forms.

July 19, 2016

ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FASCO, was featured on the Cancer.Net Blog in the July 19 podcast, discussing what the TAPUR Study is and why it is important to patients and the medical community.

July 14, 2016

On July 14, ASCO announced the 14 practices that are participating in the 2016 Quality Training Program. The program is designed to train oncology health care providers to investigate and implement data-driven quality improvement and manage clinical and administrative processes and outcomes.

July 12, 2016

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA)—wide-ranging legislation addressing the national opioid epidemic—is close to becoming law. After moving through a Conference Committee, CARA overwhelmingly passed in the United States House of Representatives (by a vote of 407-5) on July 8 and moved to the Senate, which is expected to pass the final version of the legislation this week before Congress breaks for the summer district work period. President Obama is then expected to sign the bill.

July 12, 2016

A new study featured in the Journal of Oncology Practice compares the adherence of oral noncancer medications before and after treatment in patients with early-stage breast cancer (ESBC) and the possible factors associated with nonadherence.

July 11, 2016

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced a new, global Human Cancer Models Initiative (HCMI) to accelerate development of new cancer cell models and precision medicine research.

July 8, 2016

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was passed more than one year ago, and program changes begin in less than six months (Jan. 1, 2017). MACRA will completely transform Medicare reimbursement and care delivery for oncology practices throughout the United States—and now is the time to understand and prepare for these changes. As your partner in practice transformation, ASCO has developed—and will continue to develop—an  education series and other tools to provide practical assistance to ASCO members and their practices to help ease the administrative burden a change of this magnitude will bring.


July 7, 2016

On July 7, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for 2017 Physician Reimbursement. The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) rule, "Payment Policies under the Medicare Program; 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," will be published in the Federal Register on July 15. The prepublication version is available online.  

July 5, 2016

ASCO will present a free webinar, "Are you ready for MACRA? How to Prepare," on Tuesday, July 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET.  

July 5, 2016

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) will hold their next Healthcare Teams (HCT) Cyber Discussion: Effect of Computerized Physician Order Entry and a Team Intervention on Prevention of Serious Medication Errors, on Tuesday, July 19, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET.

July 1, 2016

On June 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized the Individual Patient Expanded Access Application, a simplified form to make the process easier for physicians to request investigational drugs for their patients—including cancer drugs and treatments under development.

July 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that nearly 200 physician group practices and 17 health insurance companies were selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), a cancer care payment and service delivery model developed by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The HHS announcement--made on the same day as Vice President Biden's Cancer Moonshot Summit--was one of several activities that the Cancer Moonshot Task Force and individual Federal agencies announced simultaneously to support the goals of the Moonshot initiative. 

June 30, 2016

ASCO participated in Vice President Joe Biden's Cancer Moonshot Summit at Howard University, where they participated in breakout groups focusing on practical steps to accelerate progress.

June 29, 2016

“ASCO commends Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf for his selection of Dr. Richard Pazdur to lead the agency’s new Oncology Center of Excellence. In his nearly 20 years with the FDA, Dr. Pazdur has worked innovatively to dramatically reduce the amount of time to review new products and increase the number of safe and effective oncology products available to cancer patients. He consistently demonstrates the necessary leadership and commitment to improving cancer care for directing this new center to carry out its mission."

June 28, 2016

ASCO voiced its strong opposition to the proposed Medicare Part B demonstration project in comments submitted for the June 28 U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, "Examining the Proposed Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration." ASCO underscored the urgent need to advance a fairer and more responsible payment system for oncology than what is offered in the ill-advised proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—calling on CMS to withdraw the proposal or urging Congress to intervene before this flawed experiment irreparably harms the cancer care delivery system.