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, as well as 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 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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ASCO submitted comments to Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership regarding draft legislation to address rising out-of-pocket costs for patients in the United States. ASCO’s comments focus on improving patient access to cancer care by reducing prescription drug prices, improving transparency around pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices, and improving public health and the exchange of health information.
ASCO submitted comments to a U.S. House Energy & Commerce health subcommittee hearing entitled, “Improving Drug Pricing Transparency and Lowering Prices for American Consumers." The hearing focused on several bills aimed at increasing transparency around drug prices and lowering out-of-pocket costs for patients. ASCO’s comments offer the oncology community’s perspective on several of the bills discussed during the hearing and focus on improving access to affordable cancer care.
Millions more Americans are surviving cancer and living healthy, productive lives. Cancer death rates are down about 25% since the early 1990s. Unfortunately, these gains have not been realized in all regions of the United States. In rural areas, particularly, patients with cancer face a worse outlook than those in other parts of the country.
ASCO recently submitted comments in response to a request for information (RFI) on reducing health care costs from the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee.
ASCO members who are practicing oncologists may have received an email inviting them to participate in the American Medical Association’s Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee survey for physician office visits and a new prolonged services code. This important survey will help ASCO, in concert with the RUC, recommend accurate relative values for physician work and direct practice expenses to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and ASCO members are encouraged to participate if they are invited to take the survey.
On February 12, 2019, ASCO leadership and members of the society’s Government Relations Committee met with representatives from key federal agencies, advisory groups, and other stakeholder organizations to discuss top cancer policy priorities. The meetings focused on access to clinical trials, drug pricing, step therapy, drug shortages, Medicaid waivers and other issues affecting people with cancer.
Oncology practices have an opportunity to learn how they compare to others on key business and operational benchmarks through ASCO’s annual Survey of Oncology Practice Operations. The survey, which opens today, reviews the current state of business and operational issues in oncology and is part of ASCO’s continued efforts to help oncology practices navigate the evolving cancer care delivery system.