On April 20, Tracey Weisberg, MD, chair of ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, testified on behalf of the Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society (NNECOS) and ASCO before the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services. Dr. Weisberg’s testimony expressed strong support for LD 273, legislation that would add a cancer exception to Maine’s prescription monitoring program requirements. In her testimony, Dr. Weisberg also advocated for LD 1031, which would add a cancer exception to opioid prescription limits in the state.
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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Congress announced a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in their Fiscal Year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill.
ASCO has released a Strategic Plan for Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Oncology Workforce, which aims to promote the development of an oncology workforce that is culturally competent and equipped to care for a diverse population of patients with cancer.
ASCO applauds Congress for its leadership in providing an additional $2 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This increase reaffirms the United States' longstanding, bipartisan commitment to scientific research, and will reinvigorate the scientific community as it continues to rebuild after a decade of flat funding. It also offers hope to millions of Americans and their families who face a cancer diagnosis every year
On May 1, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to durvalumab (IMFINZI™ , AstraZeneca UK Limited) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or who have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved midostaurin (RYDAPT® , Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.) for the treatment of adult patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who are FLT3 mutation-positive (FLT3+), as detected by an FDA-approved test, in combination with standard cytarabine and daunorubicin induction and cytarabine consolidation. The FDA also approved a companion diagnostic, the LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay (Invivoscribe Technologies Inc.), for use with midostaurin to test patients with AML for the FLT3 mutation.
Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through May 5, 2017. The Continuing Resolution includes flat funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other government agencies and programs.
ASCO strongly opposes the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as currently proposed, and urges a “No” vote on the bill in the House of Representatives because it does not meet our previously announced principles. We believe healthcare reform must ensure meaningful access to high-quality care for any American with cancer.
On April 27, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the indications of regorafenib (STIVARGA®, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.) to include the treatment of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib.
New studies in the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) from hospitals within the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions highlight the importance palliative care and the impact it can have on hospital services and quality of care.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reviewing claims and letting practices know which clinicians need to take part in MIPS, the Merit-based Incentive Payment System of the Quality Payment Program. In late April through May, more than 200,000 practices will get a letter from the Medicare Administrative Contractor that processes Medicare Part B claims.
ASCO recently submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the agency’s call for stakeholder input on measuring and comparing oncologists and other health care providers based on cost under the Quality Payment Program’s (QPP) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS).
ASCO applauds the California legislature for being the first state body of lawmakers in the nation to consider legislation that is designed to specifically improve clinical pathways in oncology. Clinical pathways, when appropriately designed and implemented, are evidence-based treatment management tools used to support delivery of high-quality cancer care for specific patient presentations.
Nominations for the Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care are open for the nationwide competition. This award, given by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) in honor of cancer survivor and passionate advocate for patient-centered high-quality cancer care Ellen Stovall, is awarded annually to individuals, organizations, or other entities who demonstrate innovation in improving cancer care for patients in America.
This year, oncology practices across the country are implementing changes to comply with the Quality Payment Program (QPP), established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), which will transition practices from the current fee-for-service reimbursement system to providing value-based cancer care.