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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October 17, 2022

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently finalized policy changes that make health care coverage more affordable for approximately one million individuals by fixing the so-called “family glitch.” The new policy updates the interpretation of the “affordability” of health insurance plans and allows eligible families to receive tax credits to buy more affordable insurance through an Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange if employer coverage is too costly.  

October 17, 2022

In conjunction with the World Cancer Congress, ASCO is publishing a special series of its online publication JCO Global Oncology focused on innovative, evidence-based models for cancer professionals and patients to improve access to quality cancer care particularly in low- and middle-income countries. During Congress sessions, leaders from ASCO will explore integrating palliative care into standard oncology practice; increasing cancer research and clinical trials in Africa; ensuring a supply of essential medicine for all patients regardless of resource setting; and using lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to boost cancer control.

October 11, 2022

Building on its longstanding commitment to health equity, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is launching a multi-year pilot program to increase access to high-quality, equitable cancer care in rural Montana. The ASCO pilot program will enable patients to receive cancer care in their own community through a hub-and-spoke care delivery model, a proven method of extending access to cancer care in rural and remote areas.1 This initiative, which aligns with the Montana Cancer Coalition’s comprehensive cancer control strategy,2 aims to reduce patients' commute to treatment locations, enable rural sites to be primary points of contact, improve care delivery through education and training, and encourage patient engagement throughout the cancer care continuum.

October 4, 2022

On August 4, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule on Section 1557 (first finalized in May 2016) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in certain health programs and activities.

September 30, 2022

On September 30, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to futibatinib (Lytgobi, Taiho Oncology, Inc.) for adult patients with previously treated, unresectable, locally advanced or metastatic intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma harboring fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) gene fusions or other rearrangements.

September 30, 2022

As expected in the lead-up to midterm elections, Congress today (September 30) passed a continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through December 16, 2022, avoiding a government shutdown and giving Congress more time to negotiate critical funding decisions for Fiscal Year 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

On October 6, 2022, the definition of information blocking is expanding to include the entire scope of the definition of Electronic Health Information (EHI)—including, electronic protected health information (ePHI) that is or would be in a Designated Record Set (DSR). Practices may want to review and assess their information blocking compliance policies and procedures and contact their EHR vendors to find out how they are preparing to assist practices in meeting the deadline.

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 27, 2022

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released a new frequently asked questions (FAQs) document on the safe handling of hazardous drugs, including those used to treat individuals with cancer, as a resource for its members. The FAQ document focuses on the current hazardous drug safe handling standards from the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The document also highlights ASCO’s work for the oncology community on the issue, including its own standards for the safe handling of hazardous drugs, which were released in early 2019.

September 21, 2022

On September 21, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to selpercatinib (Retevmo, Eli Lilly and Company) for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors with a rearranged during transfection (RET) gene fusion that have progressed on or following prior systemic treatment or who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options.

September 20, 2022

On September 21, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration granted regular approval to selpercatinib (Retevmo, Eli Lilly and Company) for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a rearranged during transfection (RET) gene fusion, as detected by an FDA-approved test.

September 20, 2022

On September 20, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration approved sodium thiosulfate (Pedmark, Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.) to reduce the risk of ototoxicity associated with cisplatin in pediatric patients 1 month and older with localized, non-metastatic solid tumors.

September 20, 2022

A new study, published today in JCO Oncology Practice, finds that oncologists have different perspectives on how to select starting doses for patients with metastatic cancer. The study shares findings from a 2021 international survey of 367 medical oncologists who treat patients with metastatic breast or gastrointestinal (GI) cancers.

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