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.
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 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).
On June 30, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved avelumab (BAVENCIO®, EMD Serono, Inc.) for maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) that has not progressed with first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy.
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.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) sent a letter to congressional leadership urging more action to address current drug shortages exacerbated by COVID-19 and to prevent future drug shortages.
On June 29, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA, Merck & Co.) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) colorectal cancer.
On June 29, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new fixed-dose combination of pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and hyaluronidase–zzxf (PHESGO®, Genentech, Inc.) for subcutaneous injection.
On June 24, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®, Merck & Co., Inc.) for patients with recurrent or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) that is not curable by surgery or radiation.
On June 23, 2020, JCO: Oncology Practice published an article on rural cancer care as part of the State of Cancer Care in America series. "Closing the Rural Cancer Care Gap: Three Institutional Approaches," draws from the second event in the State of Cancer Care in America series and supporting literature to summarize the challenges to delivering high-quality care in rural communities, highlight institutional approaches to addressing these challenges, and update ASCO’s rural workforce data.
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.
On June 22, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to selinexor (XPOVIO, Karyopharm Therapeutics) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma, after at least 2 lines of systemic therapy.
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, September 29, from 8–9 a.m. (ET)/(UTC-4), and registration is now open.
The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) joined more than 100 other health organizations in sending a letter to congressional leadership urging them to include the targeted and limited liability protections in the bipartisan “Coronavirus Provider Protection Act” (H.R. 7059) in the next COVID-19 relief package.
ASCO expert and Prevention Committee member Noelle LoConte, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin (UW) and co-leader of the UW Carbone Cancer Center gastrointestinal disease oriented working group spoke on a panel on “NASH and Liver Cancer” for International NASH Day on June 12.
On June 18, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to tazemetostat (TAZVERIK™, Epizyme, Inc.), an EZH2 inhibitor, for adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) follicular lymphoma (FL) whose tumors are positive for an EZH2 mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test and who have received at least 2 prior systemic therapies, and for adult patients with R/R FL who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options.