ASCO Resolutions Approved by AMA House of Delegates

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From November 11–14, ASCO delegates participated in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates (HOD), the principal policy-making body of the AMA. During the meeting, several ASCO-backed resolutions were approved, including:

Medicare Part B Drugs in QPP/MIPS Payment Adjustment

  • The resolution calls on the AMA to continue to work with ASCO and other specialty groups to advocate against the inclusion of Part B drug reimbursement in the application of Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) adjustments.

Elimination of the Laboratory 14-Day Rule Under Medicare

  • The resolution calls on the AMA to actively lobby the federal government to change laboratory Date of Service rules under Medicare, such that complex diagnostic laboratory services performed on pathologic specimens collected from a hospital procedure be paid separately from inpatient and outpatient bundled payments. A recent CMS rule allows this for tests performed in an outpatient setting; however, the approved resolution directs the AMA to push for it to also include tests performed in inpatient settings.

Transparency of Pharmacy Benefit Managers 

  • ASCO worked with other organizations to pass a resolution focused on increasing the transparency of Pharmacy Benefit Managers. 

ASCO also co-led a resolution urging the AMA to actively lobby Congress and the federal government to expedite the development of an equitable, validated risk adjustment mechanism and not include a cost score in MIPS until such time as it can be developed. The resolution was referred to the AMA Board of Trustees for decision, and ASCO will continue to elevate the issue within the AMA and through advocacy efforts.

The HOD also discussed other issues relevant to cancer care, including e-prescribing controlled substances, sequestration, MACRA implementation, health disparities, and drug shortages, among others.

ASCO currently sends two delegates to the AMA HOD: Edward P. Balaban, DO, FACP, FASCO, and Thomas Marsland, MD, FASCO. The Society also has two HOD alternate delegates: Ray Page, DO, PhD, FACOI, and Kristina Novick, MD. The society’s Resident and Fellow Section Delegate is Steve Y. Lee, MD.

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