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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April 26, 2018

ASCO joined nearly 50 medical organizations in urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reduce the quality performance period under the 2018 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to 90 days instead of a full calendar year.

April 24, 2018

An analysis published today in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Journal of Oncology Practice (JOP), suggests that including cancer drug costs in bundled payments under Medicare risks destabilizing the cancer care delivery environment. According to the report, Medicare reimbursement would vary widely in such a model depending on the mix of patient conditions practices treat, rather than the quality of care they provide—with reimbursement to practices that see a large volume of complex patients declining significantly from current levels.

April 23, 2018

Last week, members of PracticeNET came together for their biannual networking meeting, where participants reviewed benchmarking data and preliminary results from the 2018 Survey of Oncology Practice Operations, and received updates on new initiatives, including ASCO’s new practice website, ASCO Practice Central.

April 20, 2018

A new study in the Journal of Oncology Practice offers insights on improving cessation rates for people living with cancer who smoke. The results indicate that that talking with patients about the harms of continued smoking with a cancer diagnosis could be beneficial, particularly for those who perceive smoking to be less risky to their health.

April 20, 2018

A new editorial in the Journal of Oncology Practice provides an overview of existing initiatives designed to attract and support medical students and oncology trainees who are about to enter the workforce.

April 19, 2018

On April 18, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved osimertinib (Tagrisso®, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) exon 19 deletions or exon 21 L858R mutations, as detected by an FDA-approved test.

April 17, 2018

Melissa Dillmon, MD, chair of ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, joins ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis in the latest ASCO in Action podcast to examine current cancer-related policies that state lawmakers are considering and discuss how ASCO members can get involved.  During the podcast, Dr. Dillmon, a hematologist at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, Georgia, highlights a number of state-level issues that will directly impact the cancer care delivery system

April 17, 2018

ASCO has developed a summary of the key provisions and changes in the updated Common Rule, which protects human participants in biomedical research.

April 17, 2018

On April 17, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate tablets (TAVALISSE™, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment.

April 17, 2018

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day—April 28, 2018— is a nationwide event to educate the public on the safe storage and disposal of drugs and to help patients safely, conveniently, and responsibly dispose of unused or expired opioids and other prescription medications throughout the year. On Take Back Day, patients can visit collection sites near them to turn in medications.  

April 17, 2018

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a listening session where stakeholders, including ASCO’s Chief Medical Officer, Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FSCT, FASCO, offered brief comments on role of the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE).

April 16, 2018

On April 16, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration granted approvals to nivolumab and ipilimumab (Opdivo® and Yervoy®, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.) in combination for the treatment of intermediate or poor risk, previously untreated advanced renal cell carcinoma. 

April 16, 2018

Members of ASCO's Leadership Development Program held a Hill Day to advocate for federal research funding, oral parity, step therapy, and other cancer policy priorities.

April 16, 2018

ASCO submitted a budget request to a House Committee on Appropriations subcommittee, asking for $3.32 billion in funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and support for the Administration’s request of $20 million for FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

April 12, 2018

Clinicians can now use the updated Participation Lookup Tool from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to check their 2018 eligibility for the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Within the online tool, clinicians can enter their National Provider Identifier (NPI) to find out whether or not they need to participate in MIPS during the 2018 performance year.