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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May 30, 2018

In the last decade there has been widespread adoption of clinical pathways in the United States healthcare delivery system. A high-quality oncology clinical pathway is a detailed, evidence-based protocol for delivering cancer care, including but not limited to anticancer drug regimens for specific patient populations. 

May 30, 2018

In 2017, providers and practices across the country began to implement the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), QPP is changing the way physicians are reimbursed for services provided under Medicare Part B.

May 29, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on Direct Provider Contracting (DPC) Models published on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) website in April 2018.

May 10, 2018

On May 8, the White House submitted a rescission package to Congress, which proposes $15 billion in cuts to 38 government programs and agencies, including to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

April 26, 2018

ASCO joined nearly 50 medical organizations in urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the quality performance period under the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to 90 days instead of a full calendar year.

April 24, 2018

An analysis published today in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP), suggests that including cancer drug costs in bundled payments under Medicare risks destabilizing the cancer care delivery environment. According to the report, Medicare reimbursement would vary widely in such a model depending on the mix of patient conditions practices treat, rather than the quality of care they provide—with reimbursement to practices that see a large volume of complex patients declining significantly from current levels.

April 23, 2018

Last week, members of PracticeNET came together for their biannual networking meeting, where participants reviewed benchmarking data and preliminary results from the 2018 Survey of Oncology Practice Operations, and received updates on new initiatives, including ASCO’s new practice website, ASCO Practice Central.

April 12, 2018

Clinicians can now use the updated Participation Lookup Tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to check their 2018 eligibility for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Within the online tool, clinicians can enter their National Provider Identifier (NPI) to find out whether or not they need to participate in MIPS during the 2018 performance year.

April 11, 2018

Nominated by ASCO, as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure the success of its members in Quality Payment Program implementation and participation, eight ASCO volunteers have been chosen to serve on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Oncology Clinical Subcommittee that will provide input on the development of episode-based cost measures for potential use in the Quality Payment Program. 

March 30, 2018

Eligible clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) will now be able to submit 2017 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance data until Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 8:00 PM ET.  Clinicians can submit their 2017 performance data using the QPP website.

March 20, 2018

The second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), began on Jan. 1, 2018. This year, oncology practices face more robust quality reporting requirements to successfully participate in QPP and avoid a financial penalty in 2020.

March 19, 2018

In a new ASCO in Action Podcast, ASCO Vice President of Clinical Affairs Stephen Grubbs, MD, FASCO, joins ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis, FACP, FASCO, to break down the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and discuss the reimbursement changes coming to oncology practices in the United States.

March 6, 2018

ASCO’s new checklist, “Evaluating Oncology Clinical Pathways Programs,” is designed to guide oncology practices in examining the pathway programs they currently use, or to evaluate pathways under consideration for future use. 

March 6, 2018

ASCO is launching  ASCO Practice Central, a new website that serves as an online information hub to help oncology professionals navigate a complicated and ever-changing practice environment—while providing high-quality patient care. The first ASCO website dedicated to the business of oncology, ASCO Practice Central provides a one-stop, centralized resource that oncology practices can use to address a wide range of practical issues, including changes to physician reimbursement, quality reporting requirements, and business management practices.

February 15, 2018

On February 12, the White House released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal, which included several provisions and budget changes of interest to the cancer community. While the proposal is not binding, it does provide a view into some of the Administration’s goals and budget priorities for the year.