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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June 14, 2019

ASCO joined more than 120 other organizations in signing on to a letter urging Congress to introduce several improvements to ensure the continued success of efforts to implement the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act.

June 13, 2019

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) successfully passed three resolutions that were led by the ASCO delegation during their recent Annual Meeting, as well as a resolution calling on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure additional patient protections for step therapy in Medicare Advantage this plan year. The HOD also reaffirmed existing policy stating that physicians who have proven adherence to high quality clinical pathways physicians should be exempt from prior authorization requirements.

June 11, 2019

ASCO submitted comments to Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership regarding draft legislation to address rising out-of-pocket costs for patients in the United States. ASCO’s comments focus on improving patient access to cancer care by reducing prescription drug prices, improving transparency around pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices, and improving public health and the exchange of health information. 

June 11, 2019

ASCO’s Center for Research and Analytics (CENTRA) is now accepting research applications from ASCO members who wish to conduct surveys of ASCO members for research purposes.

June 10, 2019

Americas Oncologia of Rio de Janeiro and Hospital Paulistano of São Paolo have become the fourth and fifth practices, respectively, in Brazil to receive Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification through QOPI® Certification Program, LLC.

June 10, 2019

On June 10, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to polatuzumab vedotin-piiq (POLIVY, Genentech, Inc.), a CD79b-directed antibody-drug conjugate indicated in combination with bendamustine and a rituximab product for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), not otherwise specified, after at least two prior therapies.

June 10, 2019

A new study in the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) finds that while primary care physicians (PCPs) are often involved in cancer survivorship care, many do not feel adequately prepared for key components of it.

June 7, 2019

ASCO is seeking 10 oncology practices in urban centers in the U.S. with high proportions of African-American patients with breast cancer in 11 specific metropolitan areas to participate in its Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), QOPI® Certification, and Quality Training Program (QTP) offerings, with training and funding support provided.

June 7, 2019

On June 5, Members of Congress introduced new, bipartisan legislation that would streamline and standardize prior authorization requirements in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. The bill, entitled “Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019,” (H.R. 3107) would improve the prior authorization process in MA plans by requiring “real time” authorizations for routinely approved services. The bill was  introduced by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Ami Bera (D-CA). ASCO endorsed the legislation and applauds Representatives Reps.

June 7, 2019

From June 8-12, ASCO’s delegates will participate in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD). The AMA HOD is the principal policy-making body of AMA and meets twice a year to discuss pressing issues and establish association policies.

June 5, 2019

As part of the collaboration that lead to the recent CDC clarification on its guideline on prescribing opioids to manage pain from certain conditions, leadership from the organizations came together to write an op-ed for ASCO Connection. That commentary from ASCO CEO Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO; NCCN CEO Robert W. Carlson, MD; and ASH President Roy Silverstein, MD, fully outlines the groups’ concerns about how efforts to address the opioid crisis in the United States could inadvertently create a new crisis through the misguided application of well-intentioned clinical guidelines.

June 4, 2019

The deadline for submitting applications for the Quality Training Program summer session at ASCO headquarters in Alexandria, Va., has been extended to Monday, June 10 at 11:59 p.m. (ET).

June 1, 2019

In an effort to advance cancer data sharing and improve the quality and coordination of patient care, three of the nation’s leading health and technology organizations have established a core set of data elements and recommended technical specifications (the Minimal Common Oncology Data Elements, or “mCODE”) that are essential for capturing and reporting the characteristics, treatments, and outcomes of every cancer patient and should be contained in each patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The mCODE™ initiative, a collaboration between ASCO®, its wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary CancerLinQ LLC, the MITRE Corporation, and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation (Alliance Foundation), released the initial set of common cancer data standards and specifications today at ASCO’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Chicago and published them online at mCODEinitiative.org.

May 30, 2019

On May 29, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved the addition of overall survival data in labeling for gilteritinib (XOSPATA®, Astellas Pharma US, Inc.), indicated for adult patients who have relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with a FLT3 mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test.

May 29, 2019

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) today announced the Health Policy Leadership Development Program Fellows for the 2019-2020 class. Wendy Allen-Rhoades, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine, and Laura LaNiel Tenner, MD, MPH, of The Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, will spend the next year developing leadership skills and healthcare policy expertise. During their fellowship, Dr. Allen-Rhoades and Dr. Tenner will participate in ASCO efforts to shape cancer-related policies that directly affect individuals with cancer and the oncology practice environment.

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