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.

To sign up for advocacy alerts, log in to ASCO.org with your member or guest account, and visit the subscription center available under your account profile.

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.

Showing results for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

July 7, 2020

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced an opportunity for current NCI-funded Principal Investigators whose postdoctoral fellows have temporarily lost stipend support from a non-profit funder because of the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for a funding supplement to cover the fellow’s salary and applicable facilities and administrative costs for the time and effort devoted to the NCI-funded grant.

July 6, 2020

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (CMS-5531-IFC) interim final rule. The rule clarifies earlier changes to Medicare reimbursement that promote the use of telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic and establishes reimbursement for audio-only evaluation and management (E&M) services at the same rate as telehealth and in-person E&M services.

July 2, 2020

On May 19, ASCO released the ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic, and it is now available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), French, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish (Latin America).

June 30, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced flexibilities for clinicians participating in the 2020 Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) who have been impacted by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Affected clinicians may submit an Extreme & Uncontrollable Circumstances Application to reweight any MIPS performance categories or may apply for the MIPS Promoting Interoperability Performance Category Hardship Exception.

June 22, 2020

The next session in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s free “ASCO Global Webinar Series: Experiences and Lessons During the COVID-19 Pandemic” will be held Tuesday, July 28, from 8–9 a.m. (ET)/(UTC-4), and registration is now open.

June 18, 2020

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to the Department of Defense (DoD) in response to the TRICARE Coverage and Payment for Certain Services in Response to the COVID–19 Pandemic interim final rule. The rule allows TRICARE to reimburse providers for audio-only services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).

June 9, 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs.

June 9, 2020

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held a special live webcast on the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (ASCO Registry). A recording is now available.

June 9, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Part 1 of its final rule outlining changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit (Part D) programs for contract year 2021. Due to June 1 bid deadlines for both the MA and Part D 2021 plan years, CMS finalized only a subset of the agency’s proposed policies at this time, which the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments regarding six provisions in the proposed rule.

June 8, 2020

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (CMS-1744-IFC) interim final rule. In the letter, ASCO applauds the temporary flexibilities CMS has established to promote efficiency and streamline processes for healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health emergency (PHE). 

June 4, 2020

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center (CMMI) announced new flexibilities and adjustments to its current and future alternative payment models in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Of note for the cancer community, CMMI made changes to the Oncology Care Model, such as payment methodology, quality reporting, and the timeline. 

June 2, 2020

Providers have until June 3, 2020, to apply for the Provider Relief Fund, which has been allocated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for general distribution to Medicare facilities and providers impacted by COVID-19. 

May 26, 2020

In an open letter, the Regulatory Relief Coalition (RRC) called on all health plans in the United States to suspend prior authorization requirements for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related services during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

May 19, 2020

ASCO released the ASCO Special Report: A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemicwhich provides detailed guidance to oncology practices on the immediate and short-term steps that could be taken to help protect the safety of patients and healthcare staff before resuming more routine care operations during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

May 12, 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new ASCO article reports that oncology research programs are experiencing delays and other challenges in advancing clinical trials during this unprecedented time. The article, which published today in JCO Oncology Practice and was previewed during ASCO’s recent presscast on COVID-19 and cancer care, looks at the types of changes and challenges to clinical trials that research sites experienced early in the pandemic. Data from the article comes from a March 2020 survey of oncology research programs, including both academic- and community-based research programs.

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