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Oncology Practice Insider

ASCO’s Oncology Practice Insider 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. OPI offers updates on ASCO programs, services, and cancer-related health policy, Medicare news, and billing and coding best practices. To sign up for the biweekly Oncology Practice Insider newsletter, please complete this form.

Earlier this month, ASCO’s Quality Training Program held its first sessions in Romania and Greece, with a local practice in each location hosting the program’s one-day workshop. On April 3, Asociația Medisprof, an oncology practice in Cluj, Romania, hosted 5 teams and 24 trainees for a day of focusing on process improvement and best practices aimed at improving the quality care for patients.
In the latest ASCO in Action Podcast, Dr. Jeffery Ward joins ASCO CEO Dr. Clifford A. Hudis to discuss utilization management (UM) policies and how these practices affect both patients and providers. Step therapy, also known as fail-first, is a UM practice that requires patients to try and fail on a lower-cost drug before obtaining the more expensive drug prescribed by their physician. Dr. Ward expresses concern about using step therapy in oncology care, as most people with cancer have a single best drug for their diagnosis and drug equivalence in cancer treatment is rare.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 24 at 2:00 PM ET to provide an overview of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System Alternative Payment Models, or MIPS APMs, a type of APM in the Quality Payment Program. CMS subject matter experts will provide information about:
On April 12, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to erdafitinib (BALVERSA™, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies) for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, with susceptible FGFR3 or FGFR2 genetic alterations, that has progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy, including within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant platinum-containing chemotherapy.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) is launching a volunteer provider pilot program on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which will test the process for reviewing compliance with HIPAA Administrative Simplification rules. Medicare providers who conduct electronic health care transactions may volunteer for the program on their own behalf.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a policy to include additional telehealth benefits in the Medicare Advantage Program. This policy would increase access to telehealth benefits for Medicare Advantage patients beginning in the 2020 plan year. Previously, Medicare beneficiaries were only allowed access to telehealth services if they resided in certain rural areas.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host an Open Door Forum for providers on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM ET. The agenda will include announcements and updates on Open Payments and Chiropratic services.  Please see below for conference call information. Open Door Participation Instructions:
ASCO is seeking to team with an oncology practice group in Brazil to host a new workshop that would provide an overview of the Society’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) and QOPI® Certification Program. Mission Endowment funding from Conquer Cancer, The ASCO Foundation, would cover the majority of the expenses for the course, including air travel expenses for the faculty and ASCO staff. In turn, the hosting site would pay only for the faculty and staff’s expenses on the ground.