Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of ASCO and the Association for Clinical Oncology, issued the following statement after President Joseph Biden’s State of the Union address on February 7.
“ASCO applauds President Biden’s focus on ‘ending cancer as we know it’ during the State of the Union address. We continue to urge the President to keep cancer care and research as top national priorities and are pleased with his plans to advance efforts to strengthen the Cancer Moonshot [initiative], improve cancer clinical trials, and foster breakthroughs through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO
“We commend the administration’s commitment to reducing America’s cancer burden, and we hope the administration will address all existing barriers to equitable, high-quality cancer care. For example, prior authorization requirements are egregiously delaying care, worsening patient outcomes, and diverting doctors from patient care. However, we’re encouraged by actions the administration is taking to address prior authorization in its proposed rules, and we’re hopeful Congress will reintroduce federal legislation like the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act to streamline this process for millions of Americans.
“Establishing long-term Medicare reimbursement solutions will help to protect patient access to care by ensuring that physicians have the resources necessary to care for patients in their communities. Uncertain reimbursement rates pose significant challenges to oncology practices and ultimately could restrict patient access to cancer care.
“ASCO appreciates President Biden’s ongoing efforts to improve the lives of people with cancer. We look forward to working together on the shared priority of accessible, high-quality, equitable cancer care.”
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