The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) represents members nationwide from all care delivery settings. ACCC’s 49th Annual Meeting & Cancer Business Summit was held March 8–10, 2023, in Washington, DC, where the society released its advocacy agenda for 2023.
Areas of Focus
ACCC advocates on behalf of its members to ensure that the rules and regulations in place do not in any way impede the delivery of high-quality cancer care. These efforts can include advocating for equitable access to new therapies and innovative technologies; adequate reimbursement for services and treatments; and equitable access to care and clinical trials. For 2023, ACCC members have identified four core areas of focus outlined below among a larger set of issues and concerns that the organization will be supporting in 2023:
• Protect Adequate and Stable Reimbursement for Oncology Providers: Year after year, increasing cuts to Medicare reimbursement continue to threaten the financial viability of our nation’s cancer programs and practices. ACCC supports payment policies that adequately and sustainably cover the cost of delivering comprehensive cancer care while also accounting for ongoing inflationary pressures. Any reimbursement changes should not undermine the ability of oncology care providers to deliver high-quality, affordable, and equitable care to their communities.
• Reduce Delays in Care Due to Utilization Management: Health plan utilization management policies, including prior authorization and step therapy, can act as a barrier for patients with cancer seeking to access necessary treatments in a timely manner. When combined with a lack of transparency in the approval process, utilization management requirements create significant burdens for cancer care providers while delaying critical care for their patients. ACCC champions federal utilization management reform that improves health plan transparency and protects patients from unnecessary and harmful delays in care.
• Preserve Provider and Patient Choice in Cancer Treatment: Health plans and pharmacy benefit managers are increasingly restricting provider and patient options when deciding where patients can receive cancer care, how anticancer drugs can be dispensed, and which drugs will ultimately be covered. To improve accessibility and affordability of therapeutic options for patients while maintaining clinical quality and safety standards, ACCC believes that patients and their providers must retain the autonomy to make treatment choices that consider unique circumstances and any barriers to care.
• Improve Access to and Coverage of Supportive Oncology Services: Comprehensive cancer care delivery is recommended in guidelines and considered essential for high-quality cancer care. ACCC seeks to promote policy solutions and value-based payment reform that increase access to—and reimbursement for—supportive oncology services, including but not limited to the following: social work; psychology and psychiatry; physical and occupational therapy; nutrition and dietetics; genetic counseling; spiritual services; navigation; integrative medicine; financial counseling; palliative care; fertility services; and critical services provided by other specialty service professionals (ie, oncology pharmacists).
For more information about ACCC and its advocacy priorities, visit www.accc-cancer.org.