AMA House of Delegates Approves ASCO-Backed Resolutions on Alcohol Use, Opioids, Utilization Management

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. The resolutions include:

  • Alcohol Consumption and Health: The resolution updates AMA policy to note that alcohol consumption, in addition to abuse, is a modifiable cancer risk.
  • Opioid Prescribing Guidelines: The resolution clarifies that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s opioid prescribing guidelines are not intended to apply to cancer or palliative and hospice care; instead, physician specialty guidelines should be used.
  • Re-establishment of National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC): The resolution compels AMA to research existing or needed replacements for the NGC.

Additionally, the AMA HOD adopted 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. ASCO co-sponsored both resolutions.

During the meeting, ASCO also worked to successfully refer back to the AMA Board of Trustees for further review and consideration of a report that may have hindered research efforts using de-identified data, including cancer registries. ASCO will work with AMA and other stakeholders over the coming months to improve the report.

ASCO currently has three delegates to the AMA HOD: Edward P. Balaban, DO, FACP, FASCO; Thomas A. Marsland, MD, FASCO; and Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI, FASCO. The society also has two alternate delegates to the HOD: Kristina L. Novick, MD and Steve Y. Lee, MD. ASCO’s Resident Fellow Section Delegate is Erin L. Schwab, MPH, BS, MD.

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