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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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

ASCO, along with over 50 other organizations, signed a letter from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network to the Department of Health and Human Services urging the agency to reject proposed changes to Medicare Part D that could harm patient access to essential therapies, including cancer care.

February 4, 2019

Oncology practices have an opportunity to learn how they compare to others on key business and operational benchmarks through ASCO’s annual Survey of Oncology Practice Operations. The survey, which opens today, reviews the current state of business and operational issues in oncology and is part of ASCO’s continued efforts to help oncology practices navigate the evolving cancer care delivery system.

January 31, 2019

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) has released a number of resources to help practices ensure compliance with the revised Common Rule, which went into effect on Monday, January 21, 2019. 

January 31, 2019

Suanna Bruinooge, MPH, Division Director, Research Strategy and Operations for ASCO’s Center for Research and Analytics, recently spoke about the TAPUR™ Study and the importance of data collection in expanded access (individual use, as well as medium, and large programs) as part of a panel discussion for a summit “Integrating Expanded Access Into the Modern Drug Development Process.” 

January 31, 2019

ASCO is seeking to team with an oncology practice in Western Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan provinces) to host its one-day Quality Training Program (QTP) course.

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 28, 2019

On January 28, the ASCO Connection published a blog by ASCO’s State Affiliate Council chair Elizabeth Blanchard, MD, detailing the cancer policy priorities ASCO’s state affiliate associations will focus on in 2019.  Many of the priorities build on the activities from the past year, including access to opioids for cancer patients, utilization management, and fertility preservation. 

January 22, 2019

ASCO’s first draft of its data specification of the Minimal Common Oncology Data Elements (mCODE™) project is available and open for comment through February 19.

January 22, 2019

As of January 9, ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Round 1 of reporting is open for data abstraction. Round 1 will close on June 3, and final reports will be available approximately two weeks after the round closes.

January 22, 2019

As the 116th Session of the U.S. Congress gets underway in Washington, D.C., committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction over cancer-related policy priorities are taking shape and selecting new and returning leadership. With this committee leadership in place, ASCO will continue its efforts to advance policy priorities including: federal funding for cancer research, patient access to clinical trials, oral parity legislation, and other potential barriers to care such as the high cost of cancer drug treatment, step therapy, and prior authorization policies.

January 18, 2019

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), along with nearly 60 other organizations, joined the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in an advertising campaign urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Congress to halt proposed changes to Medicare Part D’s six protected classes.

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 15, 2019

On January 14, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved cabozantinib (CABOMETYX®, Exelixis, Inc.) for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have been previously treated with sorafenib.

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.