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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.

Statement by Monica M. Bertagnolli, MD, FACS, FASCO, President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
ASCO recently submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Medicare Physician Payment Reform After Two Years: Examining MACRA Implementation and the Road Ahead.” The society’s comments focus on ASCO’s efforts to help members implement provisions of the Medicare Access and CHIP
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed raising the reimbursement rate for the novel cancer cell therapy treatment CAR-T in the Proposed Rule for 2020 Hospital Impatient Prospective Payment Systems.  The new technology add-on payment (N-TAP) would raise the reimbursement rate from 50 percent to 65 percent. CMS estimates that this change will cost $110 million in 2020.
ASCO recently submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to a proposed rule that would eliminate protection for manufacturer rebates on prescription drugs in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
ASCO is kicking off its advocacy campaign in support of increased funding for federal cancer research. The launch of this year’s advocacy effort comes as Congress is beginning its work to craft Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills. As part of the campaign, ASCO is urging Congress to provide $41.6 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – a $2.5 billion increase from FY 2019 – and $6.5 billion to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
ASCO recently urged Congress to work with the Administration to adopt high-quality pathways, reduce the administrative burden of utilization management practices, and other ideas to improve the quality of cancer care in the United States. The comments are in response to a request for information from the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on reducing health care costs.
“We strongly oppose the White House budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, which would stall our nation’s progress against cancer and impede access to needed care for the millions of Americans dealing with cancer. The proposal would make drastic, unprecedented cuts to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—which houses the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
On February 28, ASCO joined the American Medical Association (AMA) and over 90 other groups in sending a letter to CMS urging them to provide guidance to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans on prior authorization processes.