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ASCO Connection

Effective May 2021, The Oncology Practice Insider newsletter consolidated with the ASCO Connection newsletter.

ASCO provides the latest news, information, and educational tools to assist with the successful management of oncology practice and the delivery of high-quality patient care, including updates on ASCO programs, services, and cancer-related health policy, Medicare news, and billing and coding best practices. The biweekly ASCO Connection newsletter features the latest information on ASCO programs and resources for every member of the oncology community, including information tailored for practice administrators and practice leaders. Subscribe to the ASCO Connection newsletter for Practice News updates.

Date
On November 17, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) for the adjuvant treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at intermediate-high or high risk of recurrence following nephrectomy, or following nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions. Read more.   
ASCO is hosting a webinar on "The Impact of Well-Being on Quality Care Internationally" on Wednesday, December 1 at 9:00 AM ET (USA). This webinar will focus on the well-being of healthcare professionals in oncology working through the COVID pandemic, the impact the pandemic has had on their well-being and its impact on the quality of cancer care. We talk about physician burnout, but the COVID pandemic has demonstrated so much more than just burnout.
On October 29, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to asciminib (Scemblix, Novartis AG) for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase (CP), previously treated with two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and approved asciminib for adult patients with Ph+ CML in CP with the T315I mutation. Read more. 
On October 15, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq, Genentech, Inc.) for adjuvant treatment following resection and platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with stage II to IIIA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have PD-L1 expression on ≥ 1% of tumor cells, as determined by an FDA-approved test. Read more. 
On October 13, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) in combination with chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, for patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ≥1), as determined by an FDA-approved test. Read more. 
On October 12, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved abemaciclib (Verzenio, Eli Lilly and Company) with endocrine therapy (tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) for adjuvant treatment of adult patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, node-positive, early breast cancer at high risk of recurrence and a Ki-67 score ≥20%, as determined by an FDA approved test. This is the first CDK 4/6 inhibitor approved for adjuvant treatment of breast cancer.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that COVID-19 vaccinations may have helped prevent hundreds of thousands of new COVID-19 infections and tens of thousands of deaths among seniors. The study shows that COVID-19 vaccinations were linked to a reduction of approximately 265,000 COVID-19 infections, 107,000 hospitalizations, and 39,000 deaths among Medicare beneficiaries between January and May 2021. 
On October 1, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration approved brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus, Kite Pharma, Inc.) for adult patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Read more.