ASCO in Action

ASCO in Action provides the latest news and analysis related to critical policy issues affecting the cancer community, updates on the Association for Clinical Oncology’s ongoing advocacy efforts, and opportunities for members and others in the cancer care community to take action.

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November 22, 2022

Prior authorization is harming individuals with cancer according to new survey results from the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The survey found that prior authorization delays necessary care, worsens cancer care outcomes, and diverts clinicians from caring for their patients.

November 22, 2022

Without congressional action before the end of the year, Medicare providers are set to face up to a 10% reimbursement cut. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) encourages its members to contact their lawmakers and urge them to address the cuts now.

November 8, 2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services finalized changes to Medicare enrollment policy that will make Medicare Part A and Part B coverage effective sooner after an individual enrolls in the program, eliminating gaps or delays in coverage. The Association for Clinical Oncology advocated for these changes in comments on the “Implementing Certain Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021” proposed rule.

November 1, 2022

On November 1, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule for the calendar year (CY) 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and updates to the Quality Payment Program. CMS also released its final rule for the CY 2023 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System the same day. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is still assessing the rules, but based on a preliminary analysis, key provisions for the cancer care community are included here.

October 26, 2022

On October 13, 2022, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, on the day it was set to expire, for an additional 90 days. The PHE is now set to expire January 13, 2023.

September 28, 2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has extended the deadline to apply for the Enhancing Oncology Model (EOM) to October 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

September 27, 2022

In comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2023 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rule, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) continues to call for a final rule that supports patient access to high-quality, equitable cancer care and support for oncology providers. Highlights from ASCO’s comments are includeded here.

September 27, 2022

In a step towards addressing one of multiple pending Medicare physician payment cuts, Representatives Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) introduced the Supporting Medicare Providers Act (H.R. 8800), which would increase the conversion factor to 4.42%, effectively putting the Medicare physician fee schedule cut on hold for a year. The new legislation also includes language that says lawmakers and the Department of Health and Human Services should work to promote and reward value-based care, as well as safeguard timely access to high-quality care by advancing health equity and reducing disparities. The Association for Clinical Oncology supports this effort to provide short-term stability and urges Congress to pass the bill before the end of the year.

September 13, 2022

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) issued a new position statement on Medicare billing for split or shared (split/shared) evaluation and management (E/M) services. The statement summarizes ASCO’s concerns about changes to split/shared E/M services and makes recommendations to better align Medicare coding for E/M services with the care that beneficiaries with cancer need.

September 13, 2022

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) comments on provisions in the 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and Quality Payment Program (QPP) proposed rule that would impact cancer care for Medicare beneficiaries.

September 6, 2022

Medicare providers are facing significant reimbursement cuts starting January 1. The 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposal jeopardizes the financial stability of many oncology practices by proposing a cut to the Medicare conversion factor of approximately 4.5%. Urge Congress to pass important changes that will provide practices with short-term fiscal stability, while simultaneously laying the foundation for long-term payment reforms.  

September 1, 2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Request for Information seeking public comment on various aspects of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program as CMS works toward establishing more equitable, high-quality care in MA. The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted a response to the agency on a variety of issues including health equity, expanding access to coverage and care, promoting person-centered care, and supporting sustainability and affordability. Some of the issues addressed in ASCO’s comments are summarized here.

August 16, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act extends Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax credit subsidies, allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, places inflationary caps on price increases for Medicare Part B and Part D drugs, and limits Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending on Part D prescription drugs.

August 9, 2022

UPDATE: On August 7, 2022, the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a broad climate, tax, and healthcare reconciliation bill, 51 to 50. Healthcare provisions in IRA will extend Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits, allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, place inflationary caps on Medicare Part B and Part D drugs, and cap out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. The House of Representatives will reconvene on August 12 to consider and vote on the legislation--which is expected to pass--after which President Biden will sign the bill into law.

August 2, 2022

On August 1, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long‑Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) final rule. In addition to updating Medicare payment rates and policies for inpatient hospital services in FY 2023, the final rule aims to improve beneficiary access, improve the quality of maternity care, and advance health equity.

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