AMA House of Delegates Approves ASCO-Backed Resolution Opposing Medicare Sequestration Cuts

November 22, 2021

From November 12-16, delegates from the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) participated in a virtual Special Meeting of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD), the principal policy-making body of AMA that meets twice a year to discuss pressing issues and establish association policies.

During the meeting, the AMA HOD voted to approve a resolution committing the AMA to act before the end of the year to strongly advocate against the application of sequestration to Medicare services, including to drugs administered under Medicare Part B, which would result in significant reimbursement cuts for Medicare providers. ASCO strongly advocated for the AMA HOD to pass this resolution.

Last year, Congress passed temporary relief from Medicare sequestration to help practices during the COVID-19 public health emergency, however, this relief is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does not take further action, practices will see a 2 percent reimbursement cut for Medicare services beginning January 1, 2022.

If Congress does not act soon, oncology practices will also be subject to two additional reimbursement cuts:

  • Implementation of a 4% Medicare payment cut due to the 2010 Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) law
  • Expiration of the 3.75% temporary increase in Medicare reimbursement created by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which supplied short-term relief from the impact of the pandemic

These impending cuts will place an unreasonable burden on practices and severely impact patient access to cancer care.

ASCO is encouraging all members to contact their lawmakers and ask them to support providers, and patient access to care, by stopping additional cuts to Medicare reimbursement before the end of the year.

ASCO’s Participation in the AMA HOD

ASCO currently has three delegates to the AMA HOD: Edward P. Balaban, DO, FACP, FASCO; Kristina L. Novick, MD; and Ray D. Page, DO, PhD, FACOI, FASCO. The society also has three alternate delegates to the HOD: Thomas A. Marsland, MD, FASCO; Steve Y. Lee, MD; and Erin L. Schwab, MPH, BS, MD. Past AMA President Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO also participates with the delegation.  

During the AMA HOD Special Meeting, ASCO led two meetings of the HOD's Cancer Caucus, which provides a forum to address oncology-specific issues that are either being discussed or should be discussed by the HOD.

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