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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April 17, 2024

Cancer doctors from across the U.S. are lending their voices to a new advocacy campaign to end drug shortages. Led by the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), nearly 500 oncology professionals have signed an open letter to Congress and the administration highlighting the severe impact of drug shortages on cancer care and urging swift action from lawmakers.

April 10, 2024

Change Healthcare, a healthcare technology company that is a business unit of Optum and owned by UnitedHealth Group, fell victim to a cyberattack on February 21, 2024. Regular updates on the situation are available for impacted customers on Optum’s website. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is assessing the oncology-specific impact of the attack and will keep its members up to date.

April 9, 2024

State governments are increasingly considering legislation to streamline prior authorizations processes, which Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) members say delay patient care, adversely affect cancer care outcomes, and divert providers from patient care. States have regulatory authority over fully insured health benefit plans (group and individual plans) and health benefit plans administered by the state itself (Medicaid and state employee benefit plans). This means that state governments can impact plan design through either legislation or regulatory action, and during the past decade, a majority of states have been working to leverage that impact to reform prior authorization.

March 28, 2024

Today the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor and the Treasury Department finalized a rule regulating the availability of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans. The rule would restrict the availability of these plans to no more than four months.

March 11, 2024

Congress passed a six-part spending bill on March 8, 2024, that funds several government agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through Sept. 30, 2024—the end of the fiscal year.

March 7, 2024

On March 6, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration approved nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) in combination with cisplatin and gemcitabine for first-line treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC).

March 7, 2024

On March 7, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to zanubrutinib (Brukinsa, BeiGene USA, Inc.) with obinutuzumab for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

March 6, 2024

On February 13, 2024, the Food and Drug Administration approved irinotecan liposome (Onivyde, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.) with oxaliplatin, fluorouracil, and leucovorin, for the first-line treatment of metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

February 26, 2024

The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a joint Request for Information on how group purchasing organizations’ and drug wholesalers’ practices are impacting the generic drug market. The Association for Clinical Oncology encourages stakeholders within the cancer community to comment to give federal agencies the perspective they need from across the myriad settings of cancer care. 

 

February 22, 2024

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)’s new policy statement highlights the need for formalized efforts to address health-related social needs and outlines ways to address social determinants of health in cancer care.

February 14, 2024

The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) Serving the Underserved Task Force shared survey results that provide insight on oncology professionals’ experiences and strategies to support their work caring for underserved populations. 

February 13, 2024

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized prior authorization policy updates within Medicare Advantage (MA), Medicaid Managed Care and Fee for Service, Children’s Health Insurance Plans (CHIP) Managed Care and Fee for Service, and Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) on the Federally Facilitated Exchanges (FFEs). These changes come in response to the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and other stakeholder concerns that prior authorization processes limit beneficiary access to care in Medicare Advantage. 

February 13, 2024

The Alliance for Childhood Cancer held its 14th annual Action Days Feb.13-14, 2024, in Washington. ASCO is a proud member of the Alliance, a cohort of national patient advocacy groups, professional medical organizations, and scientific organizations dedicated to advancing research and policies to prevent cancer. During this year's Action Days, more than 200 advocates representing 34 states took part in 150 meetings on Capitol Hill.

January 16, 2024

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to two proposed rules: the 2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D proposed rule and the 2025 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters proposed rule. ASCO’s comments support provisions that address utilization management and health equity, which have the potential to improve access to care for the cancer community.

January 16, 2024

As of January 1, 2024, oncology practitioners can bill and receive Medicare payment for connecting patients to navigation services. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopted two billing codes for Principle Illness Navigation services: G0023 for the initial 60 minutes per patient per month, and G0024 to capture each additional 30 minutes per patient per month. The American Society of Clinical Oncology has received many inquiries about coding and billing for these new services and has made resources available for the oncology community.

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