AMA House of Delegates Approves 3 ASCO-Led Resolutions

Resolutions Pass on Remote Digital Lab Access, MA Consultations and ERISA Preemption
November 16, 2023
Group photo of ASCO delegates at the AMA HOD

From left: Dayna Isaacs, MD, MPH; Erin L. Schwab, MD, MPH; Barbara L. McAneny, MD, MACP, FASCO; Ashley L. Sumrall, MD, FASCO, FACP; Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI, FASCO; Kristina L. Novick, MD, MS; David Savage, MD, PhD; and Steve Y. Lee, MD, FACP.

Delegates from the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) gathered in Washington to participate in the 2023 Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD) from November 10-14, 2023. The AMA HOD is the principal policy-making body of AMA and meets twice a year to discuss pressing issues and establish AMA policies.

ASCO was the primary sponsor of and developed these three resolutions that were adopted:

  • Expanding remote digital laboratory access. This resolution, which was co-sponsored by the College of American Pathologists, calls on AMA to ask the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve post-Public Health Emergency enforcement discretion of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). Specifically, it calls for amendments that require laboratories to file a separate application for each laboratory location unless they meet a regulatory exception, be clarified to include all qualified physicians under CLIA, notably hematologists and oncologists. This includes reviewing digital data, digital results, and digital images at a remote location under the primary location CLIA certificate.
  • Requiring CMS to cover all initial consultations for clinical trials. This resolution calls on AMA to advocate for CMS to reimburse out-of-network referral of patients with Medicare Advantage for the purpose of consultation for enrollment in a clinical trial. It would also require that these consultations be considered administratively as participation in a clinical trial.
  • Create a model bill that would avoid Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) preemption related to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This resolution calls on the AMA to study enacted state PBM legislation and create a model bill that would avoid ERISA preemption. This will be done in a targeted way with the goal of allowing increased state-level regulation of PBMs, filling a current regulatory gap.

During the AMA HOD Interim Meeting, ASCO led two sessions of the Cancer Care Caucus (CCC), a diverse group of specialties that meet to discuss resolutions that particularly impact cancer. Through the CCC and in conjunction with National Lung Cancer Screening Awareness Month, the Radiology Section Council, the American College of Chest Physicians, and ASCO, November 11, 2023, was established as National Lung Cancer Screening Day. During the two CCC meetings, delegates also discussed drug shortages and HPV-associated cancer prevention. ASCO delegates also participated in the Pain & Palliative Medicine Specialty Section Council and the Pain & Palliative Medicine Caucus meetings.

ASCO had five delegates in attendance at this meeting: Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI, FASCO; Barbara L. McAneny, MD, MACP, FASCO; Steve Y. Lee, MD, FACP; Kristina L. Novick, MD, MS; and Erin L. Schwab, MD, MPH. In addition, ASCO had two alternate delegates in attendance: David Savage, MD, PhD, and Ashley L. Sumrall, MD, FASCO, FACP. ASCO Alternate Delegate Jill Gilbert, MD, FACP, FASCO, participated virtually. Dayna Isaacs, MD, MPH, joined the ASCO delegation as a newly elected Resident & Fellow Section Alternate Delegate.

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