ASCO Calls on Congress to Prevent Steep Medicare Cuts Before End of Year

Statement By Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO Board Chair of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
December 3, 2021

"The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) calls on Congress to pass legislation that will prevent devastating reimbursement cuts to Medicare services set to begin on January 1. Failure to do so will significantly compromise patient access to lifesaving cancer care during an ongoing and unprecedented pandemic. 

"Without congressional intervention, oncology care providers are facing a nearly 10% cut to Medicare reimbursement in 2022 due to the expiration of sequestration and pandemic relief, as well as the implementation of budget neutrality mandates. The financial strain of such drastic cuts could harm patient access to timely care, especially in communities that are already underserved. This situation will be made worse in light of screening delays caused by the pandemic, which are expected to lead to more late-stage cancer diagnoses requiring more advanced courses of treatment and supportive care. 

"In addition to addressing cuts to Medicare reimbursement, it is imperative that Congress pass a full fiscal year 2022 funding package with robust increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The passage of another continuing resolution through February 18 stalls research funding, which amplifies the lost and delayed research that resulted from the pandemic." 

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Take action: Tell your Members of Congress to prevent looming Medicare reimbursement cuts.