The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) continues to advocate for federal and state legislative action to guarantee Medicaid coverage of routine care costs (like laboratory tests and physician visits) for clinical trial participants. Medicaid is the only major insurer that is not required to cover these costs, which means that patients with life-threatening conditions do not have access to the best – and sometimes only—treatment option for their condition.
ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.
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WHAT: Clinical trials often provide patients with life-threatening conditions the best - perhaps only - treatment option for their condition. However, unlike Medicare and private and commercial payers, Medicaid is not federally required to cover routine care costs (like physician visits and laboratory studies) for patients on clinical trials. Without the guarantee of coverage, many Medicaid beneficiaries do not have the latest technological and scientific advancements as a treatment option.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently joined more than a dozen other health groups in sending a letter to leaders of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) to convey their support of S.2723—The Mitigating Emergency Drug Shortages (MEDS) Act—which would help reduce drug shortages by addressing vulnerabilities in the drug supply chain. The letter urges the committee to quickly advance this important piece of legislation.
The 2020 general election is right around the corner, and all 435 members of the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives—and 35 U.S. Senators—are up for re-election. This means that Members of Congress will be spending more time in their home district or state this year and are more available for in-district meetings with constituents as a result. You could even invite your lawmakers to visit your practice.
On January 30, Jerome Seid, MD, FACP, testified during a hearing of the Michigan State Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services in support of SB 612, a bill that would make important reforms to prior authorization and step therapy protocols. Dr. Seid is a member of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and past president of the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology (MSHO).
As a practicing hematologist and oncologist in Warren, Michigan, Dr. Seid provided first-hand experience to the Committee on how prior authorization impacts his patients.
The Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology (GASCO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp with concerns about a proposal to partially expand Medicaid in the state. Known as an 1115 waiver, the proposal would extend Medicaid coverage to merely 89,000 of the 1.5 million uninsured Georgians, while imposing work requirements and other restrictions on the program.
The Tennessee Oncology Practice Society (TOPS) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, outlining concerns about Tennessee’s proposal to transition its current Medicaid program to a block grant approach.