Congress Must Enable New Models for Patient Access to High-Quality Cancer Care

October 19, 2023

On October 19, 2023, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted a statement for the record to a House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing titled “What’s the Prognosis?: Examining Medicare Proposals to Improve Patient Access to Care & Minimize Red Tape for Doctors.” The hearing discussed potential changes to Medicare payment to better serve beneficiaries and strengthen the program.

Specifically, the hearing discussed legislation to address priority issues for ASCO aimed improving access to high-quality care for individuals with cancer, such as prior authorization reform and models for sustainable cancer care reimbursement.

 “Oncology care is entering a time of unprecedented progress in both the understanding and treatment of cancer. However, today's medical practice environment is facing significant disruption, which threatens oncologists' ability to deliver the high-quality cancer care that patients deserve,” said ASCO Board Chair Everett E. Vokes, MD, FASCO. “As cancer care professionals navigate these challenges, they are looking for models that enable the delivery of high-quality, high-value cancer care and a framework that supports success regardless of payment arrangements and other administrative policies.”

For its part, in July 2021, the American Society of Clinical Oncology launched the ASCO Patient-Centered Cancer Care Certification initiative. The now permanent program—ASCO Certified—is based on Oncology Medical Home (OMH) standards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Community Oncology Alliance (COA). These standards establish core elements needed to deliver equitable, high-quality cancer care and offer all stakeholders clarity on elements they should expect to see from cancer care teams.

ASCO remains ready to serve as a resource for Congress during this much needed dialogue around reforms to the health care delivery system. The Association will continue to advocate for policies that improve patient access to care, as well as policies that address the need for long-term Medicare physician payment reform, which is a critical to implementing new care delivery models.

Urge your lawmakers to take action on these issues via the ACT Network.

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