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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July 31, 2019

On July 30, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved darolutamide (NUBEQA®, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.) for non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

July 31, 2019

As previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and other changes to Medicare Part B and the Quality Payment Program (QPP).

July 31, 2019

ASCO submitted comments to a Senate Finance Committee markup on the “The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA),” a package of proposals aimed at addressing the high cost of prescription drugs.

July 30, 2019

ASCO has released an ethical framework for researchers on incorporating research biopsies in cancer clinical trials. The framework, published in a statement in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, provides guidance on when to include optional and mandatory biopsies based on both participant risk and scientific utility.

July 30, 2019

On July 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for reimbursement under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) in 2020. ASCO is still analyzing the proposal and will provide more information to members as soon as possible. Based on a preliminary analysis, key provisions in the proposed rule include:

Annual HOPPS Update

July 29, 2019

In state legislatures across the United States this year, ASCO and state societies partnered to advocate for health policies to improve the cancer care delivery system and ensure patients and survivors have access to high-quality care. 

July 29, 2019

In a comment letter to Acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, MD, ASCO expressed concerns that a proposed modification to the existing Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (OA REMS) could adversely affect patients with cancer-related pain.

July 29, 2019

On July 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for the 2020 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and other changes to Medicare Part B payment policies, including proposals related to the Quality Payment Program (QPP), online ahead of publication in the Federal Register on August 14.

July 25, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently expanded its HPV vaccination age range recommendations. These expansions include catch-up vaccinations for persons through age 26 who are not adequately vaccinated, and recommended vaccination based on shared clinical decision making for individuals ages 27 through 45 years who are not adequately vaccinated.

July 25, 2019

The first practice outside of the U.S. to achieve Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification, Contemporary Oncology Team of Athens, Greece, is now the first to be re-certified.

July 23, 2019

A new report from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), produced in collaboration with ASCO, details the scale and breadth of global oncology activities conducted around the world by 70 NCI-designated cancer centers.

July 23, 2019

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently received clarification from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) around the newly revised USP General Chapter <797> Pharmaceutical Compounding Standards – Sterile Preparations and USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs – Handling in Healthcare Settings, which become official December 1, 2019 and may not apply to most U.S. oncology practices that administer and prepare oncological agents. However, as rules and regulations vary across states, practices should contact their respective state pharmacy board, medical board, regulatory agency, and/or accrediting organization to determine how the standards may apply to their specific situation.

July 23, 2019

Throughout 2019, legislation to address surprise billing—when patients receive unanticipated medical bills for services from out-of-network providers received at in-network facilities—has become a growing focus on Capitol Hill. 

July 23, 2019

In early July 2019, 14 out of the 16 members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma requesting that their agencies reconsider a policy allowing Medicare Advantage plans to use step therapy.

July 18, 2019

On November 14, the Fundación ECO para la Excelencia y la Calidad de la Oncología (ECO) will host a one-day Quality Training Program (QTP) workshop at the Hotel Riu Plaza España in Madrid, Spain. Registration for the workshop is now open.

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