Congress recently passed an end-of-year legislative package that provides federal funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and includes numerous provisions that will directly impact patients with cancer and their entire cancer care team. The package includes:
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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The American Society of Clinical Oncology (the Society), an affiliated organization of the Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association), collectively known as ASCO, submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of motions in four cases to enjoin the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model from taking effect on January 1, 2021. The Society’s friend-of-the-court brief urges the courts to stop implementation of the model, citing its devastating impact on patients.
In comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) stated that the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rule is “very likely to decimate cancer care in the U.S.” and will deny 1 in 5 patients access to essential, life-prolonging cancer treatment.
Update: On December 11, Congress passed a one-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through December 18, 2020. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) continues to urge Congress to pass a full Fiscal Year 2021 funding bill that includes a substantial increase for research funding to help the research community address challenges and setbacks caused by COVID-19 and to continue their important work to find the next generation of cancer cures.
On December 8, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris urging quick action on cancer priorities to increase equity in cancer research and care.
From November 13- 17, Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) delegates participated in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) Meeting, which was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. AMA HOD is the principal policy-making body of AMA. It meets twice a year to discuss pressing issues and establish association policies.
During the meeting, delegates approved two ASCO-backed resolutions to improve cancer care:
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) opposes the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model for Medicare Part B drug reimbursement, which outlines a structured, nationwide, mandatory demonstration that will be phased in over four years, with full implementation for the final three years of the seven-year model. This plan effectively overrides a statutory provision under the guise of a demonstration project by imposing a new reimbursement model on cancer care absent any evidence that it can lower costs without negative consequences for Medicare beneficiaries.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is conducting a national survey to better understand the barriers and facilitators to the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) data within oncology practice and research in order to help identify gaps in data collection and care that need to be addressed to improve outcomes for patients.
On October 28, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the coverage transparency final rule. Building on earlier administration actions requiring hospitals to disclose standard charges and negotiated rates with third-party payers, this new rule includes two requirements aimed at increasing healthcare price transparency in the commercial market.
Beginning January 1, UnitedHealthcare (UHC) will ask physicians to provide information on the copay assistance funds patients receive for their treatments. UHC would then enforce a copay accumulator, which would ensure that no copay assistance funds are applied toward patients’ deductibles or out of pocket maximum payments.
The Association for Clinical Oncology recently submitted comments about improving racial health equity, noting that factors including race and ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and insurance access are known to impact cancer care outcomes.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined more than 110 organizations representing patients, medical researchers, providers, cancer survivors and their families in signing an endorsement letter for S. 4742, the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) responded to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Request for Information (RFI) on electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS). ASCO supports safe and unburdened access to opioids for people with cancer and asserts that EPCS provides benefits that can improve the quality of cancer care.
ASCO applauds Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) for introducing bipartisan legislation to expand access to clinical trials and improve the quality of cancer research. The CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (S. 4742) would require Medicaid to guarantee coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees with a life-threatening condition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 a challenging year for everyone, including cancer care providers, many of whom have had difficulty obtaining Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their patients and staff during the pandemic. To help ease this burden on its members, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) partnered with Project N95—a not-for-profit organization—to offer a discount on much-needed PPE for qualifying ASCO members in the United States.