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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March 12, 2019

"We strongly oppose the White House budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, which would stall our nation’s progress against cancer and impede access to needed care for the millions of Americans dealing with cancer. The proposal would make drastic, unprecedented cuts to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—which houses the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)." 

March 6, 2019

In late January, ASCO notified members that some oncology practices and providers in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) received inaccurate 2019 payment adjustments as a result of Medicare Part B drug costs incorrectly being included in the adjustments. CMS is now working to correct the payments. ASCO is in contact with the agency and will keep members informed as a solution is implemented. No action is required from MIPS participants at this time.

February 13, 2019

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.

February 5, 2019

In a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASCO urged the agency to protect patient access to necessary cancer care under Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Part D. The comments were submitted in response to proposed changes to MA and Part D aimed at lowering drug prices.

February 5, 2019

On January 31, ASCO joined more than 60 organizations in requesting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reverse its recent decision to limit coverage for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The organizations expressed concern that the decision will make it harder for patients to access medically necessary and relevant clinical tests, reducing the quality of their cancer treatment and care.

January 31, 2019

ASCO has been informed that some oncology practices and providers in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) have received inaccurate payment adjustments as a result of Medicare Part B drug costs incorrectly being included in the adjustments. 

January 16, 2019

In a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASCO urged the agency to ensure that every Medicaid enrollee with cancer can access the high-quality care needed to treat their disease. The comments were submitted in response to a proposed rule on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) Managed Care that aims to streamline the programs’ regulatory requirements, reduce administrative burden, and increase flexibility for state governments.

January 11, 2019

ASCO congratulates Anand Shah, MD, MPH, on being named Senior Medical Advisor for Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In his new role, Dr. Shah will lead efforts across CMS to advance medical innovation reporting directly to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

January 8, 2019

Reimbursement cuts for certain oncology specialties. Changes in documentation requirements for certain E&M services. Reduced reimbursement for new Medicare Part B drugs. These are some of the changes coming to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the Quality Payment Program this year. In the latest ASCO in Action Podcast, ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis discusses the changes made to the physician fee schedule and the Quality Payment Program, and what this may mean for your oncology practice.