Making a Difference through State Advocacy, in New ASCO in Action Podcast

April 17, 2018

Melissa Dillmon, MD, chair of ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, joins ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis in the latest ASCO in Action podcast to examine current cancer-related policies that state lawmakers are considering and discuss how ASCO members can get involved.

During the podcast, Dr. Dillmon, a hematologist at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, Georgia, highlights a number of state-level issues that will directly impact the cancer care delivery system. From right-to-try legislation and measures to address the opioids epidemic, to efforts to achieve insurance parity for oral cancer drugs and ensure that patients with cancer are not subject to step therapy requirements---now is a critical time for oncologists to make policymakers aware of how such policies will impact their patients, according to this active ASCO volunteer.

“I have always believed that you can’t complain about something unless you seek to change it,” says Dr. Dillmon, who described one example of advocacy by oncologists in Georgia that successfully removed language in a piece of legislation that would have significantly limited the ability of oncologists to provide effective care and treatment. The final bill also gave patients with cancer an exemption in order to continue receiving the care they needed.

The podcast suggests several ways that oncologists can get involved in state-level advocacy, including the ACT Network which provides an easy way for physicians to reach out to their state lawmakers.

To listen to the full discussion on state advocacy, click here. You can also listen through iTunes and Google Play.

Stay tuned to ASCO in Action for the latest news in cancer policy and practice.