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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August 8, 2018

ASCO strongly opposes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to allow Medicare Advantage plans to employ step therapy across physician-administered and self-administered drugs under Medicare Part B and Part D.

July 13, 2018

ASCO strongly opposes provisions in the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule that could significantly cut cancer care resources that are needed to provide high-quality care to individuals with cancer

July 10, 2018

ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO joined ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis in the most recent ASCO in Action Podcast to discuss her presidential theme and the vision she has for ASCO this coming year. 

June 26, 2018

In the latest ASCO in Action Podcast, Dr. Edward Kim, Chair of the Department of Solid Tumor Oncology at the Levine Cancer Institute, joined ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis to discuss eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials.

June 26, 2018

The American Medical Association (AMA) Opioid Task Force issued a report documenting physician-driven initiatives to advance the fight against the opioid epidemic in the United States, progress to date, and recommendations to continue to help reverse the epidemic. ASCO has been an active member of the AMA Opioid Task Force since 2017.

June 26, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided an update on their review of a 2017 Wisconsin Physician Service Insurance Corporation (WPS)—a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC)—local coverage decision limiting off-label prescribing.

June 13, 2018

During the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) annual meeting, delegates approved several ASCO-led resolutions and incorporated them into the AMA’s policy agenda.

June 12, 2018

Right-to-try is the latest topic addressed in the ASCO in Action podcast series. ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford Hudis recently interviewed ASCO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Schilsky to examine RTT legislation—now enacted as federal law—and discuss the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) expanded access program.

June 9, 2018

From June 9 – 13, ASCO’s delegates will participate in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD). The AMA HOD is the principal policy-making body of AMA, and meets twice a year to discuss pressing issues and establish association policies. ASCO currently sends three delegates to the AMA HOD: Edward P. Balaban, DO, FACP, FASCO; Thomas A. Marsland, MD, FASCO; and Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI.

May 29, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to a proposed rule to revise the agency’s methods for assuring patient access to Medicaid services. In a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma, ASCO President Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO, urged CMS to maintain its rule requiring states to monitor and report on beneficiary access to providers, and to ensure that final changes do not jeopardize access to care for patients with cancer. ASCO also encouraged CMS to explicitly require state assessment of access to oncologists. 

May 25, 2018

Sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations face unique challenges in accessing health services, including discrimination and greater risk of anxiety and depression, that can result in disparate care. SGM populations have low rates of cancer screening for reasons that include lower rates of insurance coverage, exclusion from traditional cancer screening campaigns, and previous experiences of discrimination when interacting with health care systems and providers.

May 22, 2018

On May 15, ASCO submitted comments to Congressional committees applauding their commitment to addressing the opioid crisis but urged them to ensure that such efforts do not prevent patients with cancer from receiving appropriate opioid therapy.

May 18, 2018

On May 17, the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing to discuss the budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director Ned Sharpless, MD, both gave testimony at the hearing, where Dr. Sharpless underscored the need for adequate funding to strengthen the cancer research infrastructure.

May 9, 2018

This ASCO in Action Brief is designed to help ASCO members gain a clearer understanding of the impact of state and federal right-to-try (RTT) legislation in the United States on oncology patients and practices.

May 3, 2018

ASCO’s Policy Issue Briefs provide succinct overviews and relevant data on major policy issues impacting patients with cancer and the physicians who care for them. These briefs are designed to be especially helpful for journalists, offering background information on key issues across health policy today. 

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