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 6, 2018

In a new ASCO in Action podcast, ASCO President Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, joined ASCO Chief Executive Officer Dr. Clifford A. Hudis to discuss precision medicine—Dr. Johnson’s presidential theme and the focus of ASCO’s recent State of Cancer Care in America event at the National Press Club.

March 6, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on proposed changes to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription plans for 2019. The comments included recommendations for updating prior authorization requirements as well as feedback on policies to address the national opioid epidemic.

March 6, 2018

ASCO’s new checklist, “Evaluating Oncology Clinical Pathways Programs,” is designed to guide oncology practices in examining the pathway programs they currently use, or to evaluate pathways under consideration for future use. 

March 6, 2018

ASCO is launching  ASCO Practice Central, a new website that serves as an online information hub to help oncology professionals navigate a complicated and ever-changing practice environment—while providing high-quality patient care. The first ASCO website dedicated to the business of oncology, ASCO Practice Central provides a one-stop, centralized resource that oncology practices can use to address a wide range of practical issues, including changes to physician reimbursement, quality reporting requirements, and business management practices.

March 2, 2018

March 4, 2018, is International HPV Awareness Day, which aims to promote education about human papillomavirus (HPV), raise awareness about prevention methods, and encourage governments and individuals to take advantage of the HPV vaccine and screening for cancer.

February 26, 2018

On February 26, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved abemaciclib (VERZENIO™, Eli Lilly and Company) in combination with an aromatase inhibitor as initial endocrine-based therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer. 

February 22, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee on addressing the opioid epidemic in the United States. ASCO is concerned about the epidemic and its devastating impact on too many Americans and wants to ensure that any efforts to address the epidemic do not inadvertently limit access to appropriate medical therapy for patients with cancer. 

February 20, 2018

On February 16, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved durvalumab (Imfinzi, AstraZeneca Inc.) for patients with unresectable stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has not progressed following concurrent platinum-based chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

February 20, 2018

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently launched the “Share Your Story” campaign as part of its work to end the opioid epidemic in the United States. ASCO is now accepting campaign submissions from the oncology community highlighting physician efforts to provide appropriate care in the midst of the epidemic and to urge payers and policymakers to improve access to treatment.

February 20, 2018

Eligible clinicians who submitted 2017 Quality performance data for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) via claims can view performance scores through the MIPS data submission feature on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website. Note: claims data submission is only an option if you’re participating in MIPS as an individual, not as part of a group.

February 16, 2018

On Feb. 16, 2018, JCO Clinical Cancer Informatics (JCO CCI) published its first special collection of articles. This collection highlights ways in which sharing cancer research data is now possible through individual networks, including ASCO’s CancerLinQ®.

February 15, 2018

On February 12, the White House released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget proposal, which included several provisions and budget changes of interest to the cancer community. While the proposal is not binding, it does provide a view into some of the Administration’s goals and budget priorities for the year. 

February 14, 2018

As deadlines draw near for submitting data for the 2017 Merit-based Incentives Payment System (MIPS) performance period, CMS has created a Top Ten List of things to know and do before the March deadline, along with important dates to remember.

February 14, 2018

On February 14, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved apalutamide (Erleada™, Janssen Biotech, Inc.) for patients with non-metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (NM-CRPC). 

February 14, 2018

Biosimilars have rapidly proliferated in the cancer care landscape, leaving many providers unclear about the full impact these products will have on the care they deliver to patients. “American Society of Clinical Oncology Statement: Biosimilars in Oncology,” published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, examines a range of issues to help ASCO members better understand the impact of biosimilars on oncology care.