California Oncology Weekly Newsletter 5.31.2016

The California Medical Association (CMA) will host a webinar on The End of Life Option Act on June 1. The Act goes into effect on June 9. The new law will let terminally ill patients end their lives by taking a physician-prescribed lethal dose of medication. For more information click here.

TODAY!!!!!! Noridian/JEMAC will begin deactivations for failure to revalidate on May 31. If you received revalidation notice, and a complete application is not received by the due date of May 31, then your Medicare billing privileges will be deactivated. If you do not now if you received notice, you can look up your revalidation date through the CMS look-up tool. For more information click here.

ASCO testified before two Congressional committees recently regarding MACRA and the CMS Part B Drug Reimbursement Experiment. In a statement submitted to the House Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health, ASCO provided thoughts on CMS’s proposed MACRA rule. For more information click here.

Starting July 1, CMS will require MACs to enforce the following rules for modifier -JW : * modifier JW is required to identify unused drugs or biologicals from single use vials or single use packages that are appropriately discarded.* the only exception to this requirement is when the J-code unit is larger than the drug plus the waste. For more information click here.

National Cancer Survivors Day® 2016 will be held this Sunday, June 5. National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual, treasured Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide, and around the world, on the first Sunday in June. It is a CELEBRATION for those who have survived, an INSPIRATION for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of SUPPORT for families, and an OUTREACH to the community. For more information click here.

To view the complete California Oncology Weekly Newsletter, click on the date below.

May 31, 2016.

The California Dialogue on Cancer reminds us that May is Melanoma Awareness Month and just in time for Memorial Day! Share the following with your staff and patients! * Podcasts and PSAs (the last two links are radio format ready). For more information click here.

CMA will host a webinar entitled The California End of Life Option Act: An Overview on Wednesday, June 1 at 12:15PM. California’s new physician aid-in-dying law takes effect on June 9. The webinar will review the requirements of the Act, who qualifies to participate, what is required if a physician opts out and what the documentation and reporting obligations are. The webinar will also discuss palliative care services to help improve the quality of life of terminally ill patients, improve patient and family satisfaction and reduce lengths of stay and readmission rates. For more information click here.

Noridian/JEMAC will begin deactivations for failure to revalidate on May 31. If you received revalidation notice, and a complete application is not received by the due date of May 31, then your Medicare billing privileges will be deactivated. If you do not now if you received notice, you can look up your revalidation date through the CMS look-up too.  For more information click here.

The lack of participation in clinical research may be the Achilles’ heel of today’s cancer community. According to a new survey of more than 1,500 consumers and nearly 600 physicians conducted on behalf of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), only 35 percent of Americans indicated that they were “likely” to enroll in a clinical trial. For more information click here.

Starting July 1, CMS will require MACs to enforce the following rules for modifier -JW : * modifier JW is required to identify unused drugs or biologicals from single use vials or single use packages that are appropriately discarded,  the only exception to this requirement is when the J-code unit is larger than the drug plus the waste. For more information click here.

To view the complete California Oncology Weekly Newsletter, click on the date below.

May 24, 2016

Read MOASC President, Warren Fong, MD’s Op. Ed. piece on CMS-1670-P. Medicare Program; Part B Drug Payment Model, sent to: Bakersfield Californian, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, San Bernardino Sun City Newspapers, San Diego Union Tribune, Ventura County Star and the Fresno Bee. For more information click here.

There is a statewide ballot initiative that will be on the November 2016 ballot that could increase costs and reduce the availability of prescription drugs for Californians. “The California Drug Price Relief Act,” will have negative impacts for patients, and would not reduce drug costs for the vast majority of Californians as proponents want voters to believe. For more information click here.

Providers are invited to attend an upcoming web-based workshop on the Noridian Medicare Portal to learn more about the registration process. For more information click here.

ASCO reports that, due to the extensive outreach by members, a significant number of Members of Congress weighed in with CMS with strong objections to the Medicare Part B Drug Reimbursement Experiment. Developments include:
* A House letter sent to CMS led by the House Budget Committee Chair had the support of 242 House members. While most of the support came from Republicans, it also marks the first time any Democrats have publicly asked for the entire experiment to be withdrawn. For more information click here.

CMS has issued proposed regulations that would move ahead the two-track physician payment system required under MACRA. The proposed Quality Payment Program (QPP) offers providers two options:
* aligning with an advanced Alternative Payment Model (APP) and receiving a 5% annual bonus, or
* being subject to a quality performance score that could result in either increases or decreases in their Medicare reimbursement (i.e., the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System or MIPS). For more information click here.

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May 17, 2016.

In exchange for steering clear of the fight, the board that oversees California’s physicians requested amendments to a bill that would require doctors and other medical practitioners to inform patients if they are on probation. For more information click here.

Providers are invited to attend an upcoming web-based workshop on the Noridian Medicare Portal to learn more about the registration process. For more information click here.

Vice President Joe Biden said cancer treatments could be vastly and quickly improved if more health data is shared widely, but “cancer politics” makes that difficult. Biden spoke Monday at the seventh annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C., which promotes using data and evaluation to drive health policy and practice. For more information click here.

More than 800 people and organizations have commented on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Part B drug payment experiment, with several pushing for changes to the proposal, or for it to be withdrawn completely. That was the sentiment expressed by several lawmakers, physician organizations, individual patients and physicians who submitted formal comments to the agency. For more information click here.

ACCC is excited to announce a complete redesign of its annual Trends in Cancer Programs Survey. This year ACCC is rolling out four surveys, one each of cancer program administrators, oncology nurses, pharmacists, and medical directors/physician leaders. For more information click here.

To view the complete California Oncology Weekly Newsletter, click on the date below.

May 10, 2016.

Forthcoming California Medical Association webinars: Contract Renegotiations: How to Get Past No with a Payor (May 4). For more information click here.

Noridian/JEMAC has posted the following updates to its website:  MLN Connects Provider eNews: Announcement; Claims, Pricers, and Codes; Events; Publications and Video. For more information click here.

On April 21, 2016, CMS issued its final rule on managed care in the Medicaid/Medi-Cal program which will be published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2016.  This is the first major update to the federal Medicaid managed care program requirements in 42 C.F.R. Part 438 in over a decade.  As nearly two-thirds of Medicaid enrollees are enrolled in some form of managed Medicaid, this Final Rule will impact every health care provider that treats Medicaid patients both financially and operationally.  For more information click here.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has posted information regarding a national shortage of bleomycin due to manufacturing, raw materials, and increased demand and is working with three manufacturers to mitigate the shortage as quickly as possible. For more information click here.

MOASC & ANCO representatives were in Washington DC on April 21st lobbying California legislators to put pressure on CMS to withdraw the Medicare Part B drug payment experiment. To that end, dozens of House members wrote to CMS’ Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt asking that the Medicare Part B drug payment demo program be withdrawn. The program would “unnecessarily disrupt care” for sick seniors who depend on Medicare and the trial program would affect too large a scope of people, they say. For more information click here.

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May 3, 2016.