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health-care policy

HHS Finalizes MACRA Rule, ASCO Applauds Focus on High-Quality Patient-Centered Care

Today, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) finalized a landmark new payment system for Medicare clinicians that will continue the Administration’s progress in reforming how the health-care system pays for care. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of ...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

COA Releases 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) released the 2016 Community Oncology Practice Impact Report today, which tracks the changing landscape of cancer care in the United States. It documents a 121% increase in community cancer clinic closings and a 172% increase in consolidation into hospitals...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Vice President Biden Announces New Steps to Improve Clinical Trials Essential to Advancing the Cancer Moonshot

Today, Vice President Joe Biden announced a series of new steps focused on increasing access to information about clinical trials and improving the efficiency of our clinical research system. These steps include making it easier for participants to find clinical trial opportunities as quickly as...

health-care policy

ASCO Applauds Bold Recommendations From Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel

ASCO commended the Cancer Moonshot Initiative Blue Ribbon Panel for its ambitious recommendations to accelerate progress against cancer. “We applaud the Blue Ribbon Panel for its work and the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) National Cancer Advisory Board for convening the panel,”...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Researchers Question Process for Reviewing Coverage of 'Off-Label' Cancer Drug Use

A group of University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers is calling for an overhaul of the process that determines which cancer drugs used off-label—or beyond their approved use—are reimbursed by federally funded health insurance in the United...

health-care policy

Study Finds United States Ranks First in Health-Care Spending, but Cancer Outcomes Do Not Reflect the Investment

The U.S. health-care system is characterized—on a global level—by its unsustainable spending, which does not necessarily correlate to better outcomes in patients with cancer. With $2.9 trillion spent in 2013, the United States ranks first in health-care spending among the world’s...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

New American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Report Shows States Are Making Progress Implementing Policies to Reduce Toll of Cancer

Although a majority of states are still missing important opportunities to pass and implement legislative solutions proven to prevent and fight cancer, there is progress being made to move the nation closer to ending cancer as we know it, according to a report recently released by the American...

health-care policy

FDA Advances Precision Medicine Initiative by Issuing Draft Guidances on Next-Generation Sequencing–Based Tests

In support of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative, on July 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two draft guidances that, when finalized, will provide a flexible and streamlined approach to the oversight of tests that detect medically important differences in a...

health-care policy

At Cancer Moonshot Summit, Vice President Biden Announces New Actions to Accelerate Progress Against Cancer

Today, the Cancer Moonshot hosted a summit at Howard University, in Washington, DC, as part of a national day of action that also included more than 270 events in communities across the United States. Vice President Joe Biden joined over 350 researchers, oncologists, care providers, data and...

health-care policy

Richard Pazdur, MD, Named Acting Director of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, issued the following statement today regarding the appointment of the Acting Director of the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. “The FDA is honored to be an integral part of the Vice President’s National Cancer...

health-care policy

ASCO Outlines Opposition to Medicare Part B Demo for Senate Finance Hearing

ASCO voiced its strong opposition to the proposed Medicare Part B demonstration project in comments submitted on June 28 for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Examining the Proposed Medicare Part B Drug Demonstration.” ASCO underscored the urgent need to advance a fairer...

health-care policy

Statement from FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, on the Release of the Final Individual Patient Expanded Access Form

“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized its efforts to streamline the process used by physicians to request expanded access, often called ‘compassionate use,’ to investigational drugs and biologics for their patients. As a physician, I understand the...

health-care policy
legislation

Vulnerable Hospitals, Cancer Surgery Readmissions, and Penalizing Payment Programs

Readmission rates after complex cancer operations tend to be higher in hospitals that are considered to be vulnerable because they serve as safety nets in their communities or have a high number of Medicaid patients. Reasons for higher readmission rates are highly complex and involve socioeconomic...

health-care policy

ASCO Urges CMS to Withdraw Medicare Part B Demo in Formal Comments

ASCO President Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, issued this statement on May 10. “In comments submitted yesterday to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), ASCO underscored the urgent need to advance a more fair and responsible payment system for oncology than what is proposed ...

health-care policy

AACR 2016: Report Identifies Considerations for Alternative Payment Models for Cancer Care

A roundtable convened by the Turning the Tide Against Cancer initiative, composed of a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders, put forth five policy considerations that are critical to ensuring the delivery of high-quality oncology care while supporting innovation. The report was published by...

health-care policy

NCI Announces Blue Ribbon Panel to Help Guide Vice President Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

On April 4, 2016, The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced a Blue Ribbon Panel of scientific experts, cancer leaders, and patient advocates that will inform the scientific direction and goals at NCI of Vice President Joe Biden’s National...

health-care policy
palliative care

Joseph Simone, MD: Highlights of the 21st Annual NCCN Conference

Joseph V. Simone, MD, of the Simone Consulting Company, gives his expert perspective on the important messages of this year’s meeting.

health-care policy

Robert Miller, MD: CancerLinQ Update

Robert Miller, MD, ASCO’S Vice President of Quality and Guidelines, discusses CancerLinQ, the “big data” technology platform, and implementation of a rapid learning system for oncology based on Institute of Medicine principles.

health-care policy

Many Americans Favor a Tax Increase to Support the 'Moonshot' Cancer Initiative

Vice President Joe Biden's “moonshot” initiative to defeat cancer earned support for a tax increase to fund cancer research among half of respondents (50%) in a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America. Thirty-eight percent disagree and an additional 12% are...

cost of care
health-care policy

Robert W. Carlson, MD, and Lee N. Newcomer, MD, MHA, on 20 Years of Improving Cancer Care Together: A Payer’s Perspective

Robert W. Carlson, MD, Chief Executive Officer of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Lee N. Newcomer, MD, MHA, of UnitedHealthCare, discuss the value of NCCN Guidelines in determining coverage decisions, the future of affordable care, bundled payments, and the clear value approach.

global cancer care
health-care policy

Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, and Clifford A. Hudis, MD, on Cancer Care in Resource-Challenged Areas

Lawrence N. Shulman, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Clifford A. Hudis, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discuss the delivery of cancer care in resource-constrained settings such as Rwanda and Haiti, and plans to conduct research in basic tumor biology of patients in these...

supportive care
health-care policy

Jeff Dunn, AO, PhD, GAICD, on Community-Based Response to Cancer

Jeff Dunn, AO, PhD, GAICD, of the Cancer Council Queensland, discusses reducing the burden of cancer on individuals and communities.

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Calls for Improvements to Clinical Pathway Programs in Oncology

ASCO released a new policy statement with recommendations to ensure that clinical pathways in oncology promote—not hinder—the care of patients with cancer. Published by Zon et al in the Journal of Oncology Practice, the statement asserts that the way in which these treatment management...

health-care policy
legislation

Sustainable Growth Rate Bill Advances in the House 

The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee has unanimously approved the Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013, which replaces Medicare’s sustainable growth rate formula. The law would provide 5 years of stable Medicare payments beginning in 2014, with reimbursement rates...

health-care policy

ASCO Proposes New Framework for Medicare Reimbursement

In the fifth installment of the Physician Payment Reform Educational Series, ASCO presents an alternative for oncology reimbursement that recognizes and rewards high-quality, high-value care for patients with cancer. ASCO hopes this proposal will spark conversation within the oncology community and ...

issues in oncology
health-care policy

ASCO Signs Joint Open Letter to End Tobacco Sales

ASCO has joined 26 of the nation’s leading public health and medical organizations in signing a joint letter calling on drug stores and other retailers to end the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The open letter came just weeks after CVS Caremark announced it would stop selling...

health-care policy

ASCO Calls for Clear Guidance on Tobacco Cessation Benefits in the Affordable Care Act

ASCO has signed a joint letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for clear and comprehensive guidance on the tobacco cessation benefit in the Affordable Care Act regulations. In the letter, the organizations applaud the Department of Health and Human ...

health-care policy

ASCO Launches Online Resource to Help Oncologists Understand the Impact of the Affordable Care Act

This year, major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 are being implemented, with far-reaching impacts on health-care providers and patients. In addition to implementing requirements under the new law, oncology practices are treating considerably more patients with...

health-care policy

Proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System Rules Released

On July 3, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rules for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System for 2015. The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, which is titled “Medicare Program: Revisions to...

health-care policy

ASCO Policy Statement Urges Removal of Barriers to Patient Participation in Phase I Clinical Trials

ASCO has released a policy statement calling for greater access to and education about phase I clinical trials, the first-in-human studies of new agents designed to fight cancer. In “The Critical Role of Phase I Trials in Cancer Research and Treatment” ASCO policy statement, the Society stresses...

health-care policy

Health-Care Issues Front and Center on Capitol Hill, in Statehouses This Year

As of January 6, Republicans hold the majority in both houses of the 114th Congress. They hold 54 seats in the U.S. Senate and 245 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the state level, Republicans now hold an increased majority of governorships and legislatures that will consider numerous ...

health-care policy
cost of care

Medicine Turned Upside Down

BookmarkTitle: The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your HandsAuthor: Eric Topol, MDPublisher: Basic BooksPublication date: January 2015Price: $28.99; hardcover, 384 pagesMost books about health care center on fixing broken parts of the massive $3 trillion system, as seen with ...

health-care policy

ASCO Urges Evidence-Based, Flexible Drug Handling Requirements in Comments on USP 800

ASCO has responded to changing health-care standards by submitting comments to the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) on the revised version of its proposed General Chapter 800, “Hazardous Drugs—Handling in Healthcare Settings.” While ASCO notes some positive changes to the proposal, the Society...

health-care policy

Physician Fee Schedule: A Closer Look

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the 2016 Physician Fee Schedule on July 15. Among other changes, CMS proposes new codes and payment levels for Advance Care Planning; requests comments for future implementation of the Medicare...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

Even Before Affordable Care Act, Cancer Survivors in Nonexpansion States Had Less Health-Care Access

An analysis published by Tarazi et al in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship found that even in the health-care landscape before the Affordable Care Act, cancer survivors in states that had already expanded Medicaid coverage prior to passage of the Act had more access to health care than cancer...

breast cancer
health-care policy
issues in oncology

RSNA 2015: Medicaid Expansion Improves Breast Cancer Screening for Low-Income Women

Low-income women in Medicaid expansion states in the United States are more likely to have a breast screening performed than those in nonexpansion states, according to a study (HP207-SD-MOA2) by Fazeli Dehkordy et al presented November 30, 2015, at the Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of...

issues in oncology
health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Calls for Comprehensive Payment Reform to Address Issue of Site Neutrality

ASCO has called for comprehensive physician payment reform to support the full scope of services required by patients with cancer, rather than jeopardizing patient outcomes by reducing the available resources in a particular cancer care setting in an effort to achieve "site neutrality" in...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

ECC 2015: Tackling the Global Shortfall in Radiotherapy

Millions of people are unable to receive necessary treatment worldwide because of a chronic underinvestment in radiotherapy resources, according to a major new Commission on access to radiotherapy, published in by Atun et al in The Lancet Oncology, and presented at the 2015 European Cancer Congress ...

health-care policy
survivorship
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

ECC 2015: Childhood Cancers in Europe: Progress Has Been Made, but Much Still to Do

Each year in Europe, 6,000 young people die from cancer, and two-thirds of those who survive suffer from treatment-related side effects. Although there has been considerable progress in the treatment of childhood cancers over the past few decades, and cancer in childhood is rare, these are major...

breast cancer
health-care policy
issues in oncology

Introduction of Generic Aromatase Inhibitors Reduces Decline in Adherence in Medicare D Breast Cancer Patients Without Low-Income Subsidy

Adherence to aromatase inhibitor treatment for breast cancer declines over time. In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Neuner et al found that introduction of generic aromatase inhibitors resulted in a reduction in decline in adherence among patients with breast...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

ASCO Statement: Improving the Evidence Base for Treating Older Adults With Cancer

Older persons are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population and account for the majority of cancer diagnoses and deaths and the majority of cancer survivors. However, since this population is underrepresented in clinical trials, the evidence base for treating older patients is poor. As...

health-care policy
hematologic malignancies
leukemia
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
cost of care

Study Finds Current Prices of Hematologic Cancer Drugs Are Not Justified

The costs associated with cancer drug prices have risen dramatically over the past 15 years, a trend concerning to many oncologists. In a new analysis, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center concluded that the majority of existing treatments for hematologic cancers are...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
cost of care

Colorectal Cancer Screening Increase May Reflect Affordable Care Act Provision

Screening for colorectal cancer increased in individuals with a lower socioeconomic status after 2008, perhaps reflecting the Affordable Care Act’s removal of financial barriers to screening, according to a new analysis. The study, by American Cancer Society investigators, was published by...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Analysis Shows Advantage for Picture-Based vs Text-Based Warnings on Cigarette Packs

Pictures illustrating the dangers of cigarette smoking were more effective at strengthening people’s intentions to quit smoking than text warnings, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill analysis of multiple research studies has found. These findings were published by Noar et al in...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Issues Statement Praising the Senate Repeal of SGR

In a statement, the American Society of Clinical Oncology praised the U.S. Senate’s 92-to-8 approval of legislation to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate formula. ASCO President Peter Paul Yu, MD, FACP, FASCO, said, “Today's courageous vote by the U.S. Senate to finally end the...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology
cost of care

Study Finds Price of Cancer Drugs Varies Widely Based on Who’s Paying

Uninsured cancer patients are paying anywhere from 2 to 43 times what Medicare would pay for chemotherapy drugs, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These findings were published by Dusetzina et al in Health Affairs. Major Discrepancies Researchers led...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

Annual ASCO Report Shows Widespread Disturbance in Oncology Practice, Amid Growing Patient Demand and Administrative Burden

The U.S. cancer care system faces tremendous turbulence while dealing with growing numbers of cancer patients and survivors, mounting pressures to control rising health-care costs, and widespread oncology practice transformation, reports a new study by the American Society of Clinical Oncology...

health-care policy

ASCO Expresses Concern Over the New CMS Oncology Care Model

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its new Oncology Care Model, a multipayer payment and care delivery model meant to support better health-care coordination for patients with cancer. Although commending the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ...

health-care policy
lung cancer
issues in oncology

CMS Issues National Coverage Determination for Screening for Lung Cancer With Low-Dose Computed Tomography

Today the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final national coverage determination that provides for Medicare coverage of screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT). The coverage is effective immediately. “This is the first time that Medicare...

health-care policy
issues in oncology

ASCO Calls for Major Medicaid Reform to Improve Quality Cancer Care for Low-Income Americans

ASCO issued its new Policy Statement on Medicaid Reform yesterday, which calls for major changes to the program to ensure access to high-quality cancer care for all low-income individuals. The Society’s recommendations call for Medicaid expansion in all 50 states to close coverage gaps,...

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