At the 2019 ASCO Advocacy Summit, ASCO members from 35 states held more than 160 Congressional meetings, urging Members of Congress to take action to advance policy priorities which improve patient access to cancer care, including clinical trials.
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 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to a proposed rule that would loosen state reporting requirements and potentially threaten access to cancer care for Medicaid beneficiaries. ASCO believes all patients should have access to high-quality, high-value cancer care and is concerned that CMS’ proposal would jeopardize that access.
During ASCO's upcoming Advocacy Summit, oncology care providers will urge lawmakers to improve clinical trial access, protect patients from unnecessary care delays, ensure acess to potentially lifesaving medications, and foster continued success of the MACRA program. ASCO members are invited to participate virtually through the ACT Network.
On July 10, organizations representing patients, providers, medical researchers, survivors, and their families joined together to call on Congress to improve access to clinical trials for patients with life-threatening diseases. The coalition, which is made up of 86 supporting organizations, is urging Congress to pass the bipartisan CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913), which would guarantee coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees with a life-threatening condition.
ASCO recently submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to a proposed rule that would eliminate protection for manufacturer rebates on prescription drugs in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The society’s comments express a shared concern over rising prescription drug costs and urge HHS to implement policies that make rebate arrangements transparent, while ensuring that efforts to address the problem don’t inadvertently lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for people with cancer.
"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)."
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.
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.