Nearly 100 oncology care providers from across the United States are heading to Capitol Hill September 27 – 28 to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit. Advocates will meet with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer and their providers, and to encourage policymakers to support cancer policy priorities that will ensure patients with cancer have access to high-quality, high-value care.
ASCO volunteer advocates will focus on three major policy issues during their conversations with congressional offices:
- MACRA Implementation: ASCO is urging Congress to stop a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would apply Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) adjustments – a range of bonuses and penalties for providers – to Part B drugs in addition to fee schedule services. This is a departure for CMS and would exaggerate penalties beyond the defined range set by Congress, unjustly amplifying the magnitude of the MIPS adjustment for oncologists.
- Oral Parity: ASCO is asking members of Congress to ensure patient access to necessary cancer treatment by cosponsoring or supporting the Cancer Drug Parity Act (H.R. 1409), which would ensure patient cost sharing for oral anticancer drugs is no less favorable than for traditional IV medication.
- Cancer Research Funding: ASCO is calling on Congress to pass a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bill that includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a commensurate increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Congress recently passed a continuing resolution that kept funding levels flat, which does not adequately support the pace of the current research environment.
This year’s Advocacy Summit will also feature remarks by Members of Congress, the presentation of a “Congressional Leadership Award” to a policymaker who champions cancer-related policies, and a keynote speech from Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with The Washington Post and a political analyst with MSNBC. ASCO will also present the “Advocate of the Year” award to the ASCO member who was most active in advocacy efforts in 2016.
ASCO members not attending the Summit can support colleagues’ efforts on Capitol Hill by using the ACT Network to send messages to lawmakers urging them to take action to advance the policy priorities that will have the biggest impact to improve research and patient care.
ASCO members should follow the hashtag #ASCOAdvocacySummit on Twitter to see and share photos and updates from the Summit.
Bookmark ASCO in Action and stay up-to-date on all of ASCO’s advocacy efforts.