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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April 25, 2017

ASCO applauds the California legislature for being the first state body of lawmakers in the nation to consider legislation that is designed to specifically improve clinical pathways in oncology. Clinical pathways, when appropriately designed and implemented, are evidence-based treatment management tools used to support delivery of high-quality cancer care for specific patient presentations.

April 25, 2017

Nominations for the Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care are open for the nationwide competition. This award, given by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) in honor of cancer survivor and passionate advocate for patient-centered high-quality cancer care Ellen Stovall, is awarded annually to individuals, organizations, or other entities who demonstrate innovation in improving cancer care for patients in America.

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 20, 2017

Groups of 25 or more eligible clinicians participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) that intend to use the MIPS Group Web Interface and/or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for MIPS survey must register with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by June 30, 2017. No other MIPS participants are required to register.

April 18, 2017

ASCO recently joined more than 180 patient and provider advocacy groups in signing a letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), urging the congressional advisory group to reconsider proposed changes to Medicare Part B drug reimbursement. 

April 18, 2017

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) opposes payer-imposed utilization management policies that restrict patient access to high-quality, high-value cancer care. In a statement released today, ASCO asserts that in modern cancer care there is frequently a lack of interchangeable clinical options, and that optimal cancer care requires patient access to the most medically appropriate drug at the most opportune time based on the highest quality evidence.

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. 

April 17, 2017

The ASCO State Affiliate Council elected Elizabeth Blanchard, MD, Rahul Seth, DO, and Dave Dillahunt, MPA, CAE, to the State Affiliate Council’s Executive Subcommittee. The group is comprised of six physician members, one being the ASCO Board liaison, and two executive directors. The election was held during the Council’s spring meeting at ASCO in Alexandria, VA.

April 17, 2017

A new editorial in the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP), “Making the Right Thing Easier to Do: Standardized Integration of Oncology and Palliative Care,” from Arif H. Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FAAHPM, expounds on a recent study that highlights the need for palliative care and the feasibility of its integration into a standard model of oncology care.


April 17, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has permitted marketing of the Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution (PIPS, Philips Medical Systems Nederland B.V.), as an aid to the pathologist to review and interpret digital images of surgical pathology slides prepared from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue. 

April 17, 2017

ASCO has endorsed Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO, MACP, in her campaign for President-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA). 

April 13, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration removed the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) requirements for the use of Epogen/Procrit and Aranesp to treat patients with anemia due to associated myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

April 7, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted marketing authorization to ipsogen JAK2 RGQ PCR Kit, manufactured by QIAGEN GmbH., to detect mutations affecting the Janus Tyrosine Kinase 2 (JAK2) gene. This is the first FDA-authorized test intended to help physicians in evaluating patients for suspected Polycythemia Vera (PV). 

April 6, 2017

ASCO has announced that Alexander Chin, MD, MBA, and Joanna C. Yang, MD, have been selected for the 2017-2018 ASCO Health Policy Fellowship program, now entering its second year. 

April 5, 2017

On April 5, ASCO announced that Instituto de Oncologia do Vale (IOV) has become the first practice in Brazil to receive Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) certification through QOPI Certification Program, LLC. IOV is the second international practice to achieve this milestone in demonstrating the quality of care it provides to oncology patients.