Past Announcements

November 2019

  • Nov. 5, 2019 - Community Needs More Time to Assess and Comment on CMMI’s Proposed Oncology Care First Model, Find out more
  • Nov. 4, 2019 - For Some Cancer Patients, Monitoring Symptoms Can Extend Their Lives, Find out more
  • Nov. 1, 2019 - American Cancer Society Announces New Video Series Created to Deliver Clinical and Emotional Support to Cancer Caregivers.,Find out more

October 2019

Could Biosimilars Be Integrated into Alternative Payment Models?
Michael Kolodziej, MD, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at ADVI Health, Inc, addresses the role that biosimilars will have in alternative payment models in oncology.

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Cancer Pain Predicted by Lower Anxiety and Depression, Higher Social Support
A new study from the Levine Cancer Institute finds that patients with cancer who report higher levels of anxiety and depression experience more intense pain associated with their diseases.

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United Health and Optum 'Uniting Care and Coverage' in New Model
UnitedHealth Group and its Optum medical care provider business are rolling out a combined package of medical care and health insurance as they meld health benefits with the provision of healthcare services.

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Walmart to Measure Doctor Quality in Local Markets
Walmart is rolling out an effort to measure the quality of community doctors who treat tens of thousands of its employees in the retailer’s latest effort to make sure its workers get the right care, in the right place and at the right time.

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CMS to Collect 340B Drug Cost Information
The CMS issued a notice on September 26th that it will collect information from hospitals participating in the 340B drug discount program about the prices they pay for eligible drugs.

Click here for more

Cancer Drugs Account for 27% of All New Drug Approvals in the US
Cancer drugs currently account for 27% of all new drug approvals in the United States since 2010, a dramatic increase from the 4% share of the 1980s, a newly completed analysis from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development shows.

Click here for more

 

New Technology Add-on Payment: Impact on CAR T-cell Therapy Reimbursement
On August 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) final rule for fiscal year (FY) 2020.

Click here for more.

CMS Expands CAR T-cell Therapy Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare will now cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) therapy delivered in inpatient facilities.  This nationwide Medicare coverage increase for CAR T-cell therapy also opens the door for patients to receive treatment in outpatient health care facilities that are enrolled in FDS risk evaluation and mitigation strategies with expertise in delivering cellular therapies, and covers CAR T-cell therapy for off-label uses that are recommended by CMS-approved compendia.

Read more here

Sharing Hospital Outpatient Payment Proposal Maintains 340B Cuts, Addresses Price Transparency and Prior Authorization
On July 29, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for reimbursement under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) in 2020. ASCO is still analyzing the proposal and will provide more information to members as soon as possible.

Click here for more.

ASTRO releases updated radiation oncology safety guide
In conjunction with Patient Safety Awareness Week, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) published an update today to its framework for safe and effective radiation therapy treatment. The comprehensive reference guide, Safety is No Accident: A Framework for Quality Radiation Oncology and Care, is available for download.

September 2019

Nearly 60% of Blood Cancer Patients Covered by Medicare Delay or Forgo Treatment
Survival of older patients with blood cancers continues to improve as more effective, less toxic therapies are introduced. However, these lifesaving treatments often are expensive and many cancer patients face financial burdens caused by ever-increasing healthcare costs. In fact, according to a new study released October 21st by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), 59 percent of surviving blood cancer patients enrolled in traditional Medicare do not begin active treatment within three months of their diagnosis.

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ASCO Policy Brief Explains How Co-Pay Accumulators and Co-pay Maximizers Increase Cost of Cancer Care for Patients
Co-pay accumulators and co-pay maximizers have been an area of concern amongst State Affiliate Council members.  ASCO has created a new informational policy brief to help explain these programs and provide guidance regarding its position as an organization.  The brief can be accessed by clicking below.

Click here for more information

Patients Need Protection From Surprise Medical Bills, Organizations Tell Congress
In a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, ASCO, along with more than 100 other medical groups, urged Congress to protect patients from unanticipated, or “surprise,” medical bills that can occur when gaps in health insurance coverage lead them to receive care from out-of-network providers.

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Report: Progress in Global Cancer Fight is Not Only Possible, but Achievable
The Cancer Atlas, 3rd edition, a comprehensive global overview of cancer around the globe, concludes that progress in the fight against cancer is not only possible, but achievable.

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New Survey Seeks Provider Input on Clinical Trial Enrollment
ASCO is participating in a joint initiative from the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network in conjunction with the Association of Community Cancer Centers and the Oncology Nursing Society.  Click below to access the survey.

Click here for the survey

Educate and Support Your Patients with ASCO Answers Materials
Recently, State Affiliate presidents and executive directors received a mailing from Cancer.Net that included patient education materials that you and your members may find useful. 

Order printed copies online at the ASCO Store.

CMS Proposes New Electronic Prior Authorization Process to Speed Access to Care
CMS recently issued a proposed rule to update and streamline the prior authorization process under Medicare Part D.

Find out more

August 2019

AMA House of Delegates Adopts ASCO Resolutions on Step Therapy, Medicare Part B

The American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) adopted and reaffirmed ASCO-led resolutions on cancer policy priorities, including step therapy, Medicare Part B drugs, a Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP), and clinical trial access during the recent Interim Meeting of the AMA HOD. Read more on ASCO in Action.

Two Cancer Research Organizations Submit Recommendations to FDA Aimed at Reducing Barriers to Clinical Trial Participation

On August 8, ASCO and Friends of Cancer Research (Friends) submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended language for five guidance documents on ways to broaden eligibility criteria for cancer clinical trials. The recommendations are part of an ASCO and Friends collaboration to broaden eligibility for participating in clinical trials by addressing five specific areas: minimum age requirements for trial enrollment, HIV/AIDS status, brain metastases, organ dysfunction, and prior and concurrent malignancies.

Click here for more.

When a patient’s health insurance plan denies your request for prior authorization (PA) or coverage for a medication, you may submit an appeal. When submitting an appeal to a patient’s health insurance plan, including an Appeal Letter can help explain the rationale and clinical decision-making behind the choice of a specific therapy.

This guide will assist you in composing an Appeal Letter for your patients who have been prescribed a Genentech medicine. You can also access this guide, as well as any enclosures necessary for completing an Appeal Letter, in the Forms and Documents section of Genentech-Access.com.

Read More

 

Apply for ASCO’s Health Policy Leadership Development Program

Applications are now open for the 2019-2020 ASCO Health Policy Leadership Development Program (HP-LDP). Formerly the Health Policy Fellowship Program, the HP-LDP is a one-year program that provides an opportunity for ASCO members to develop expertise in health policy, advocacy, and grassroots activity.

The HP-LDP is open to all ASCO members in the United States who completed their final subspecialty training between 2009 and 2014.

Click here for more.