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Health-Care Policy
Legislation

Accountable Care Organizations May Be at Risk for New Medical Liabilities 

The promotion of accountable care organizations, a crucial element in the Affordable Care Act, may result in liability risks, said H. Benjamin Harvey, MD, JD, a radiologist in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and I. Glenn Cohen, JD, Assistant Professor of Law at...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Supreme Court Rules Human Genes May Not Be Patented 

On June 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that isolated human genes may not be patented. However, the creation of synthetic forms of DNA, known as complementary DNA (cDNA), is eligible for patent protection. The decision resolves the question brought before the Supreme Court justices in...

Health-Care Policy
Legislation

The Sunshine Act Calls for Greater Transparency in Industry-Doctor Relationships 

Signed into law on March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents the most significant overhaul of the U.S. health-care system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Because of the law’s sheer scope, parts of it still remain obfuscated by its 2,400 or so...

issues in oncology
legislation

Legislative Endorsement Update From ASCO 

ASCO recently announced its endorsement of the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2014 (S. 194), which would close tax loopholes that allow tobacco companies to avoid the federal cigarette tax by making taxes on pipe tobacco equivalent to cigarette tobacco. “Raising tobacco taxes is one of the most...

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...

Legislation

ASCO Releases Statement on the Impact of the Government Shutdown on Cancer Care 

All nonessential government services were suspended at midnight on October 1, 2013, after Congress failed to reach a budget compromise to keep the government funded before the start of the new fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2013. ASCO issued a statement in response to the government shutdown...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

A Look Ahead: How the FDA Is Adapting in the Era of Precision Medicine  

Dubbed “Cancer Czar” by the media, Richard Pazdur, MD, Director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, said he has the “best job in oncology, with a unique vantage point in cancer drug development.” An oncologist for more than 30 years—including...

Cost of Care
Legislation
Survivorship

President-Elect Candidates Address ASCO's Challenges and Opportunities in the Coming Decades 

In September, ASCO announced the names of 14 ASCO members who have been selected by the ASCO Nominating Committee as candidates for open leadership positions within the Society for the 2014 ASCO Election. The two candidates nominated for President-Elect are Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, FASCO, and Julie...

issues in oncology
legislation

ASCO Submits Comments on Numerous Federal Initiatives

ASCO helps shape the regulatory framework in which oncologists practice by reviewing and commenting on a wide range of rules, guidelines, and system changes issued by federal agencies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and...

Legislation

The Devastating Impact of Sequestration on Medical Research

The primacy of science and the overwhelming belief in medical research by the American people has sustained the research community and improved quality of life roughly since the turn of the 20th century. Almost without exception, the American people have voted for politicians who promise improved...

Health-Care Policy
Legislation

The Scientific Perils of Sequestration 

We are just 7 months into the $1 trillion in automatic federal budget spending cuts known as sequestration, and the impact on scientists in all areas of research is already so great, some say its full effects may be irreversible. The ASCO Post recently interviewed ASCO President Clifford A. Hudis, ...

Cost of Care
Legislation

ASH as Part of 'NDD United' Releases Report on Effects of Sequestration 

A new report recently released and supported by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) details the crippling effects of sequestration on programs that rely on discretionary federal funding, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In “Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us...

Legislation

Congress Agrees on Repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate

The U.S. Congress recently did something rarely seen on Capitol Hill: Leaders from both sides of the aisle agreed on a piece of legislation. On February 6, 2014, the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees and the Senate Finance Committee announced its agreement on a bill—the SGR...

Legislation
Health-Care Policy

Greatly Frustrated by Congressional Failure to Act on Sustainable Growth Rate

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is deeply frustrated by the failure of Congress to permanently repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula used to set Medicare physician payments and passage of the 17th patch to the system. ASCO and the entire physician community worked ...

Health-Care Policy
Legislation

State Oncology Societies Join ASCO’s Call on Congress to Replace SGR Formula

In a show of solidarity, state oncology societies from across the United States joined ASCO in its call on Congress to repeal Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula before the current payment patch expires. In a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership, 48 signatories, representing tens ...

Health-Care Policy
Legislation

Maryland Oncologists Faced With Navigating the Maze of Chemotherapy Safety Regulations

In March 2013, 60 Minutes aired a devastating piece about a Massachusetts compounding center that shipped an injectable steroid contaminated with fungus. One of the many ripple effects from this story of horrendous patient suffering was felt in Maryland, where it sparked legislative action in the...

Health-Care Policy
Survivorship
Legislation

NCCS Advocates for Legislation to Establish Medicare Service for Cancer Survivorship Care Planning

Some years after successful treatment of a childhood cancer, a 16-year-old survivor required surgery to replace both hip joints, which were damaged from therapy containing steroids. An x-ray of the teenager’s destroyed joints is a stark reminder of the serious health challenges faced by cancer...

Issues in Oncology
Legislation

Debate Over Physician-Assisted Suicide Continues, State by State

In 1997, after surviving a storm of high-court legal challenges, Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act went into effect, making Oregon the first American state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no right to assisted suicide in the Constitution but implied that...

issues in oncology
legislation
issues in oncology

Study Finds Websites That Market Personalized Cancer Care Services Overemphasize Benefits

A recent analysis of 55 Internet websites marketing a broad range of tests and services that promise the ability to personalize cancer treatment has found that the websites often overemphasize their purported benefits and downplay their limitations. In addition, the study results show that the...

health-care policy
legislation

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Oncology Care

According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next 10 years, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will result in approximately 25 million newly insured individuals and 12 million more Medicaid beneficiaries through the the Medicaid expansion provision. While the law provides...

breast cancer
health-care policy
legislation

Two Bills before Congress Aim to Fight Breast Cancer and End Disparities in Care

Members of Congress are considering two bills that could advance cures for breast cancer and provide better education for women grappling with decisions about their treatment options. Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2013 (S. 865/H.R. 1830)...

issues in oncology
legislation

Human Genes May Not Be Patented, Rules the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday that isolated human genes may not be patented. However, the creation of synthetic forms of DNA, known as complementary DNA (cDNA), is eligible for patent protection. The decision resolves the question brought before the Supreme Court justices in...

health-care policy
legislation

CMS Says It Lacks Authority to Roll Back Sequestration Cuts to Medicare Payments for Part B Cancer Drugs

According to a June 3 letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there will be no reprieve in the 2% ($11.08 billion) reduction to Medicare providers and hospitals mandated by the federal budget sequestration. The letter by CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner was in...

health-care policy
issues in oncology
legislation

The U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments Challenging Patents on Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genes

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case seeking to invalidate patents on two genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) was one of the first plaintiffs to sign onto this historic legal case. ACMG was also ...

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