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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July 13, 2018

ASCO’s Policy Issue Briefs provide succinct overviews and relevant data on major policy issues impacting patients with cancer and the physicians who care for them. These briefs are designed to be especially helpful for journalists, offering background information on key issues across health policy today.

July 13, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for 2019 Medicare physician reimbursement. CMS estimates that in 2019, the overall impact for the hematology/oncology specialty will be a 4 percent reduction in reimbursement and a 2 percent reimbursement reduction for radiation/oncology. These overall impacts reflect statutory adjustment factors, related to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and Relative Value Units of CPT codes. It is important to note that the actual impact on individual physician practices will depend on the mix of services the practice provides.

July 13, 2018

ASCO strongly opposes provisions in the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule that could significantly cut cancer care resources that are needed to provide high-quality care to individuals with cancer

July 13, 2018

A new study in the Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP) used ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI)® to identify five determinants of successful implementation of Survivorship Care Plans (SCPs) to improve the care and outcomes for cancer survivors.

July 13, 2018

ASCO submitted comments to U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee leadership in conjunction with a subcommittee hearing on the 340B Drug Pricing Program, “Opportunities to Improve the 340B Drug Pricing Program.” In writing to Committee leadership, ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, underscored ASCO’s appreciation for the committee’s continued efforts “to ensure the program addresses the needs of underserved patients—particularly their ability to access cancer care.”

July 11, 2018

On July 10, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to ipilimumab (YERVOY®, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Inc.) for use in combination with nivolumab for the treatment of patients 12 years of age and older with microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that has progressed following treatment with a fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan.

July 10, 2018

ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO joined ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis in the most recent ASCO in Action Podcast to discuss her presidential theme and the vision she has for ASCO this coming year. 

July 10, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is advancing the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration proposal to a public comment period and consideration for formal approval.  If approved, the demo would waive Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirements for clinicians who sufficiently participate in certain Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that involve assuming greater financial risk.

July 5, 2018

Data abstraction for ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Round 2 of reporting opened on July 5 and will close on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Round 2 final reports will be available on Dec. 18.

July 5, 2018

In June 2018, ASCO President Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO authored To Conquer Cancer, Our Nation Must Continue to Invest in Research, which focuses on the need for robust federal funding of cancer research.

July 5, 2018

ASCO and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), are calling on leaders and health ministers of the 193 United Nations (UN) member countries to reduce the burden of all non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer. The two organizations issued a joint statement in advance of the third High-level Meeting of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, taking place on September 27, 2018, in New York.

July 3, 2018

FDA has limited the use of Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who are not eligible for cisplatin-containing therapy. This is due to decreased survival associated with these drugs as single therapy (monotherapy) compared to platinum-based chemotherapy 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).

July 3, 2018

On Wednesday, June 27, the Trump Administration rejected the Massachusetts 1115 waiver amendment, a closed formulary plan that had the potential to limit access to new and innovative drug therapies by allowing the state to determine which drugs would be covered in its Medicaid program, MassHealth.

June 29, 2018

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a $2 billion funding increase to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Department of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), Education funding bill.

June 29, 2018

ASCO is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 cycle of its Health Policy Leadership Development program. The Health Policy Leadership Development Program, formerly known as the Health Policy Fellowship, is a one-year program that provides a meaningful and unique opportunity for ASCO members to develop expertise in health policy, advocacy, and grassroots activitiy.

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