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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July 3, 2017

The next installment of ASCO’s webinar series on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) will take place Monday, July 10 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The webinar, entitled Quality Payment Program: Optimizing your MIPS Score, will help participants optimize their Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score in order to receive the full reimbursement they are entitled to for services provided under Medicare Part B.  

June 21, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its proposed rule outlining changes to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) for 2018. The proposal became available on June 20 and is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 30.

June 13, 2017

ASCO joined nearly 270 patient and provider advocacy groups in signing a letter (LINK) to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, urging the agency to formally withdraw the Obama Administration’s proposed Medicare Part B Drug Payment Model

June 13, 2017

The next installment of ASCO’s webinar series on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) will take place Monday, June 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET. The webinar, entitled Quality Payment Program: Scoring for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities, will help participants  understand QPP’s Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities Attestation measures. These measures make up two of the four categories that determine a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) score, and ultimately participants’ Medicare Part B reimbursement. 

May 30, 2017

ASCO has developed a “MACRA decision tree” tool to help oncology practices find precise information on their QPP participation status, and any applicable Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) exceptions, based on practice or provider-specific information. 

May 16, 2017

In a letter of intent (LOI) to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC), an advisory group to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASCO expressed its intent to submit a physician payment reform model for PTAC review and eventual consideration by CMS as an advanced alternative payment model (APM) under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

May 9, 2017

ASCO has joined a coalition of more than a dozen specialty societies in supporting an effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to relieve the significant administrative burdens and financial penalties slated to be imposed on physicians in 2018 as part of the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS)—due to be released this summer. ASCO is concerned about the impact these burdens could have on patient care since oncologists would have to juggle the requirements of multiple Medicare quality improvement programs in addition to time spent providing patient care.

April 26, 2017

ASCO recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the agency’s call for stakeholder input on measuring and comparing oncologists and other health care providers based on cost under the Quality Payment Program’s (QPP) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).

April 24, 2017

This year, oncology practices across the country are implementing changes to comply with the Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which will transition practices from the current fee-for-service reimbursement system to providing value-based cancer care.

April 18, 2017

The Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, launched in January 2017 and is being implemented in oncology practices across the country. 2017 is a transition year, but practices still have to report some quality data in order to avoid financial penalties in 2019. This transition year offers practices an opportunity to test the QPP reporting system before 2018, when quality reporting will require a significantly heavier lift to avoid financial penalties in 2020. ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting. 

March 15, 2017

The Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), began on Jan.1, 2017, but did you know that 2017 is a transition year, meaning you can “Pick Your Pace” when implementing QPP in your practice? 

March 15, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the data submission deadline for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) reporting mechanism of the 2016 Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) program. Individual eligible professionals (EPs), PQRS group practices, qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs), and qualified EHR data submission vendors (DSVs) now have until Friday, March 31 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time to submit 2016 EHR data via QRDA.

March 13, 2017

“ASCO congratulates Seema Verma for her confirmation as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Administrator Verma is now in a key position to lead the agency during the next phase of healthcare reform in the United States, and to help ensure that millions of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with cancer have access to high-quality oncology care."

February 17, 2017

The deadline to submit reconsideration applications for the 2017 Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program payment adjustment—based on the 2015 reporting period—is Feb. 28, 2017. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

February 7, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the attestation deadline for the 2016 Medicare EHR Incentive Program to Monday, March 13, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Participating providers must attest to the 2016 program requirements before the deadline to avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2018.