The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced updated terms for loans issued to Medicare providers and suppliers under the Accelerated and Advance Payment (AAP) Program—a program that allows the agency to make such payments in emergency situations—during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Loan repayment will now begin one year from the issuance date of each provider or supplier’s payment.
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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On October 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $20 billion in new funding for providers through the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers that have already received PRF payments will be invited to apply for additional funding that considers financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by COVID-19.
The Continuing Resolution provides flat funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through December 11, 2020, and does not include any emergency or additional funding for the NIH to mitigate disruptions to trials/research due to COVID-19.
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.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held its first-ever virtual Advocacy Summit and online Week of Action September 9 – 18, 2020. The largest Advocacy Summit to date, 170 ASCO volunteer leaders and oncology care providers participated in 200 virtual meetings with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate for policies that would improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer and ensure robust funding for cancer research. Participants represented 44 different states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
On September 24, a multinational consortium of organizations in the cancer field will host the annual World Cancer Research Day, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of further developing and boosting cancer research as a crucial part of slowing the diseases’ progression and improving survival rates and quality of life for those affected. This is particularly important as the total number of cancer cases rising.
On September 16, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) will be hosting its first ever completely virtual Advocacy Summit. Oncology care providers from across the United States will meet with Members of Congress and their staff by phone or video to advocate for policies that will improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer and ensure robust funding for cancer research.
On August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its third COVID-19-related interim final rule with comment period (IFC). Provisions from the rule impact hospital and laboratory COVID-19 reporting, as well as testing for Medicare beneficiaries. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Qualifying members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) can access Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through Project N95, a not-for-profit organization, that is providing an opportunity for members who are having difficulty obtaining PPE for their patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology released today a position statement that recommends specific actions for applying telemedicine in cancer care during the pandenic and after its expiration.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rules. The administration also released an accompanying Executive Order focusing on telehealth and rural healthcare.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted the General and Targeted Distribution Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements on the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), which aims to inform those who have received one or more payments from the PRF of the upcoming timeline for future reporting requirements.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the Medicaid Program; Establishing Minimum Standards in Medicaid State Drug Utilization Review (DUR) and Supporting Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) for Drugs Covered in Medicaid, Revising Medicaid Drug Rebate and Third Party Liability (TPL) Requirements proposed rule. The proposal—which aims to reduce prescription-related fraud, misuse, and abuse—contains an important exemption for beneficiaries undergoing cancer treatment from additional opioid DUR requirements.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently submitted comments to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in response to its Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Stakeholder Input on Scientific Gaps and Research Needs Related to Delivery of Cancer-related Care via Telehealth. The RFI aims to elicit stakeholder feedback and allow NCI to assess the current state of telehealth in the United States and its role in oncology in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a position statement that raises concerns about home infusion of anticancer therapy and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations regarding the practice.