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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June 1, 2018

ASCO is surveying oncology providers on how and when they initiate conversations about weight management, as well as help their patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight after a cancer diagnosis. 

May 30, 2018

Researchers can access a wide array of ASCO data through the society’s Center for Research and Analytics (CENTRA). A detailed list of the data, along with samples of each dataset, can be found on CENTRA’s updated Data Library page.

May 30, 2018

A team of oncology professionals from the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance and University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center who are currently participating in ASCO’s Quality Training Program turned their program project into a poster that was showcased at the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology’s Spring Group Meeting held May 10–11.

May 30, 2018

In the last decade there has been widespread adoption of clinical pathways in the United States healthcare delivery system. A high-quality oncology clinical pathway is a detailed, evidence-based protocol for delivering cancer care, including but not limited to anticancer drug regimens for specific patient populations. 

May 30, 2018

In 2017, providers and practices across the country began to implement the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Established by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), QPP is changing the way physicians are reimbursed for services provided under Medicare Part B.

May 29, 2018

With Congress having recently passed federal "right-to-try" (RTT) legislation, ASCO has developed a suite of educational resources that will help members understand the impact of this law on cancer care and individuals with cancer. Resources include a podcast with guest ASCO Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Schilsky, FACP, FASCO, FSCT, an issue brief on RTT legislation, and an FAQ for oncologists and their patients.

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 29, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) on Direct Provider Contracting (DPC) Models published on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) website in April 2018.

May 29, 2018

Since the enactment of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) in 2010, biosimilars have been developed and marketed as competitive, lower-cost alternatives to newer biologic treatments. This pathway was established to provide more treatment options, increase access to lifesaving medications, and potentially lower health care costs through competition. Biosimilars are among the fastest-growing class of drugs in the United States, a class called biological products.

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 23, 2018

On Tuesday, May 15, five ASCO volunteers represented the society as part of One Voice Against Cancer’s (OVAC) annual Hill Day, where 100  participants from 25 non-profit organizations met with Members of Congress and their staff to highlight the need for the government’s continued investment in the fight against cancer.

May 23, 2018

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act (H.R. 820/S. 292), which will help improve care for the nearly 16,000 children diagnosed with cancer in the United States every year.

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 21, 2018

On May 21, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved avatrombopag (Doptelet®, AkaRx Inc.) for thrombocytopenia in adults with chronic liver disease scheduled to undergo a procedure.

May 18, 2018

On May 18, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting health care professionals, oncology clinical investigators, and the public about decreased survival associated with the use of Keytruda (pembrolizumab) or Tecentriq (atezolizumab) as single therapy (monotherapy) in clinical trials to treat patients with metastatic urothelial cancer who have not received prior therapy and who have low expression of the protein programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1).