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Past Announcements

January 2020

  • Jan. 30, 2020 - Nutrition Tips for Chemo-Brain, Find out more
  • Jan 27, 2020 - GAO Recommends CMS, HRSA Improve 340B Duplicate Discount Oversight, Find out more
  • Jan. 27, 2020 - CMS: Medicare Will Cover Genetic Diagnostics for Certain Cancers, Find out more
  • Jan. 23, 2020 - Blue Cross Insurers to Create Their Own Drug Company Amid Price Fight, Find out more
  • Jan. 15, 2020 - American Cancer Survivors Face Substantial Financial Hardship and Sacrifices, Find out more
  • Jan. 8, 2020 - US Cancer Death Rate Drops by Most on Record, Find out more

November/December 2019

  • Dec. 10, 2019 - FDA can regulate e-cigarettes just like conventional cigarettes, appeals court says, Find out more
  • Nov. 26, 2019 - Mandatory CMS Radiation Oncology Model Goes on the Back Burner, Find out more
  • Nov. 21, 2019 - Blue Cross Association Launching National Provider Network, Find out more
  • Nov. 18, 2019 - ASCO Policy Brief on CAR-T Therapy, Find out more
  • 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

Community Needs More Time to Assess and Comment on CMMI’s Proposed Oncology Care First Model
Recently the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released an informal request for information for a new model for value-based payments in oncology known as the “Oncology Care First” (OCF) model.  However, oncology practices and stakeholders need more time to adequately assess and provide detailed feedback on the OCF than the time CMMI has allotted.

Click here for more

ASCO to Launch Association for Clinical Oncology in January 2020
The American Society of Clinical Oncology is launching the Association for Clinical Oncology, a 501(c)(6) professional association, that will enable expanded advocacy activities and increase the impact of efforts directed toward policymakers in support of high-quality patient care.

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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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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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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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New ASCO Policy Brief: 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.

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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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.

Click here for more.

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

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.

Click here for more.

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.

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. These materials, along with additional resources that can be found on Cancer.Net give your patients ASCO-approved information on diagnosis, treatment, side effects, and psychosocial effects of cancer.  The ASCO Answers series includes fact sheets, booklets on specific topics in cancer care, and comprehensive, patient-friendly guides. These easy-to-read materials cover breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, cancer survivorship, caregiving, palliative care, managing cancer-related pain, advanced cancer care planning, and much more.  ASCO members save 20 percent.  All orders include free domestic shipping. 

Order printed copies online at the ASCO Store.


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.


Major Changes to Part B Proposed by Trump Administration

The Trump Administration unveiled a sweeping proposal to overhaul Medicare Part B payment as part of efforts to address the high and unsustainable prices of prescription drugs in the U.S. The proposal would set Part B payments based on the discounts manufacturers offer in other countries. Participation would cover 50 percent of the country and be mandatory in randomized geographic regions.

Read NPR coverage.

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

On August 8, 2018

 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.

Read More.


Oncology Practice Conference in September—Register by August 22

The conference is designed to address challenges that oncology practices face by discussing best practices and strategies to deliver high-quality, cost-effective care. As OPC Planning Committee Chair Robin Zon, MD, FACP, FASCO, who opened last year’s conference, stated, “Oncology practices face many challenges in the current dynamic environment. The goal of the ASCO Oncology Practice Conference is to address these issues by sharing best practices and strategies to preserve the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective care.”

Read 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.


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.


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