Second Annual ASCO Advocacy Summit Convenes in Washington, DC

Photo by Christina Kelly © ASCO/ 2017

Key Points

  • Nearly 100 oncology care providers convened in Washington, DC, yesterday and earlier today to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit.
  • Advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer and their providers.
  • Advocates sought to encourage policymakers to support cancer policy priorities that will ensure patients with cancer have access to high-quality, high-value care.

Nearly 100 oncology care providers from across the United States traveled to Capitol Hill on September 27 and 28 to participate in the second annual ASCO Advocacy Summit. Advocates met with Members of Congress and their staff to educate them on critical issues affecting patients with cancer and their providers, and to encourage policymakers to support cancer policy priorities that will ensure patients with cancer have access to high-quality, high-value care.

ASCO volunteer advocates were at the nation's capitol to focus on three major policy issues during their conversations with congressional offices:

  • MACRA Implementation: ASCO is urging Congress to stop a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would apply Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) adjustments—a range of bonuses and penalties for providers—to Part B drugs in addition to fee schedule services. This is a departure for CMS and would exaggerate penalties beyond the defined range set by Congress, unjustly amplifying the magnitude of the MIPS adjustment for oncologists.
  • Oral Parity: ASCO is asking members of Congress to ensure patient access to necessary cancer treatment by cosponsoring or supporting the Cancer Drug Parity Act  (H.R. 1409), which would ensure patient cost sharing for oral anticancer drugs is no less favorable than for traditional IV medication.
  • Cancer Research Funding: ASCO is calling on Congress to pass a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bill that includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a commensurate increase for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Congress recently passed a continuing resolution that kept funding levels flat, which does not adequately support the pace of the current research environment.

This year’s Advocacy Summit also featured remarks by members of Congress, the presentation of a “Congressional Leadership Award” to Representative Leonard Lance (NJ-7), as a policymaker who champions cancer-related policies, and a keynote speech from Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist with The Washington Post and a political analyst with MSNBC.

Watch for further details of the summit at ASCO in Action and in upcoming issues of The ASCO Post.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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