ASCO in Action

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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Tune in to the ASCO in Action podcast series for analysis and commentary on cancer policy and practice issues. The podcast is available through iTunes or Google Play.

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May 25, 2021

“The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) congratulates Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on her confirmation as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Administrator Brooks-LaSure is now in a key position to lead CMS during the agency’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolving implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under the new Administration.

May 25, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced updates to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The agency reweighted the 2020 MIPS cost performance category, opened applications for the 2021 MIPS promoting interoperability performance category hardship and extreme and uncontrollable circumstances exceptions, and released MIPS Cost measure benchmarks. 

May 25, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is calling on Congress to continue their bipartisan support of federally funded research. Robust, sustained, and predictable funding growth for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) baseline budgets are critical in advancing our nation’s work towards combating, and ultimately curing, diseases like cancer.

May 21, 2021

The Improving Senior’s Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173) was recently re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA), Mike Kelly (PA), Dr. Ami Bera (CA), and Larry Bucshon (IN). The bill aims to streamline prior authorization practices and reduce care delays within the Medicare Advantage (MA) program.

May 11, 2021

On May 10, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights announced that its ban on sex discrimination once again includes a ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The move will reverse a final rule from June 2020 that established a narrowed definition of sex that protected against discrimination only on the basis of "biological sex."

May 11, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to a House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee hearing titled “Charting the Path Forward for Telehealth.” The comments convey ASCO’s views on how telehealth can better serve individuals with cancer and the oncology professionals who care for them.

May 7, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced plans to advance two proposed tobacco product standards within the next year that would ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars (including menthol-flavored cigars) from the marketplace in the United States. The proposed standards align with the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s recommendation that FDA ban the addition of menthol to cigarettes and other combustible tobacco products as a characterizing flavor.

April 30, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released part two of the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022 and Pharmacy Benefit Standards final rule (NBPP). The rule finalizes some of the standards in the proposed rule for states, exchanges, non-federal governmental plans, issuers in the individual and small-group markets (including those that participate in the federally facilitated exchange direct enrollment program), and web brokers.

April 27, 2021

From April 12-16, U.S. members of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) participated in the 2021 ASCO Advocacy Summit, where 148 advocates from 44 states and the District of Columbia held 222 virtual meetings – the most ever held during an Advocacy Summit – with Members of Congress and staff to urge action on important policies to improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer. 

April 14, 2021

Today, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) presented Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) with the annual Congressional Champion for Cancer Care Award in recognition of their ongoing commitment to legislation that improves the environment for cancer research, oncology practice, and the quality of care for patients. The award honors Members of Congress who are leading champions for patients and survivors of cancer, their families, and their cancer care teams. 

April 14, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) presented its Advocate of the Year Award to Jasmine Kamboj, MD, for her exceptional contributions to advocacy efforts to improve cancer care and research. A current member of ASCO’s Health Equity Committee, Dr. Kamboj volunteered much of her time to advocate on behalf of cancer advocacy priorities that impact people with cancer and their cancer care teams.

April 9, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) applauds the proposed $9 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in President Biden’s budget request for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. Such a significant proposed investment in biomedical research demonstrates a real commitment from the Administration to supporting the nation’s research infrastructure. 

March 30, 2021

UPDATE: On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the House passed the Senate bill to extend the moratorium on the 2% Medicare sequestration cuts through the end of the calendar year. President Biden signed the bill into law on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. CMS has resumed processing claims. 

Both chambers of the United States Congress recently passed separate bills to extend the temporary moratorium on the 2% sequestration cut to Medicare reimbursement. The moratorium is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021, and both bills would extend the moratorium until December 31, 2021. However, since the House and Senate legislation differ, further action is needed before the extension becomes law.

March 30, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its 2021 ASCO Advocacy Summit Week of Action from April 12-16. During the Week of Action, ASCO members can visit ASCO’s easy-to-use ACT Network to quickly and efficiently contact their lawmakers to urge them to take action on cancer policy priorities.

March 26, 2021

The Association for Clinical Oncology joined the Prevent Cancer Foundation® and more than 300 other organizations from across the country in signing a letter to convey support for the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act. The legislation would allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to evaluate and cover multi-cancer early detection tests once they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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