California Oncology Weekly Newsletter 4.25.2017

This Weekly’s Hot Topics:

  • AB 265 passed out of Assembly Health Committee on a 9-2 vote! This Friday is the deadline for state policy committees to hear all fiscal bills. (California News.)
  • Vote for Barbara McAneny, M.D. for AMA President-Elect. (MOASC News & Affiliate News)
  • ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting pursuant to MACRA/QPP.  (Affiliate News)

The Cancer Legal Resource Center announces its 2017 Webinar Series covering many common cancer-related legal issues. This webinar series is open to cancer patients and their families, survivors, caregivers, health care professionals and others coping with cancer. The first in the series, How Can I Make Sure My Wishes Are Upheld? will take place on Wednesday April 26 at 12 pm PST, and will provide an overview of advanced health care directives, powers of attorney for financial affairs, conservator ships, and wills and trusts. For more information click here and go to California News.

AB 265 passed out of Assembly Health Committee on a 9-2 vote! This Friday is the deadline for state policy committees to hear all fiscal bills. This is making for some packed hearing agendas, lots of negotiations on bill language and serious lobbying efforts.  For more information click here and go to California News.

Mandatory Payment Reduction of 2% Continues for the Medicare FFS Program – Sequestration. Providers will continue to see a 2 percent payment decrease on their remittance advice (RA) due to a mandatory sequestration payment reduction. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

ASCO recently joined more than 180 patient and provider advocacy groups in signing a letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) urging the Congressional advisory group to reconsider proposed changes to Medicare Part B drug reimbursement. For more information click here and go to Affiliate News.

 

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

April 25, 2017 

AB 265 will be heard by the Assembly Health Committee TODAY, Tuesday, April 18th at 1:30 p.m. PDT.  Thank you for signing on to the group opposition letter to AB 265 (Wood). As you know, this legislation would ban co-payment assistance programs which are vital for helping patients pay for medications. We want to ensure Assembly member Jim Wood and the members of the Assembly Health Committee have an accurate understanding of how detrimental this bill will be to the patient community. For more information click here and go to California News.

Bladder/Urothelial Tumor Markers Final LCD – Effective May 16, 2017
The following Local Coverage Determination (LCD) has completed the Open Public and Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) comment period and is now finalized. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the California health care billionaire, believes the United States is fighting a flawed war on cancer, “stuck in dogma.” His bracing critique caught the attention of Joe Biden and, more recently, Donald Trump, who met privately with Soon-Shiong twice during the transition, as he reportedly angled for a role in the administration. For more information click here and go to National News.

CMS is accepting comments on the Request for Information through next Monday, April 24, 2017. CMS is releasing a Request for Information to welcome continued feedback on Medicare Advantage and Part D. CMS is soliciting ideas for regulatory, sub-regulatory, policy, practice and procedural changes to better accomplish transparency, flexibility, program simplification and innovation in Medicare Advantage and Part D. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

April 18, 2017 

As a co-signer to the group letter opposing AB 265 (Wood), MOASC encourages you to oppose this bill being decided in the California Assembly. As you know, AB 265 would ban patients in California from receiving copayment assistance programs from pharmaceutical manufacturers when a therapeutically equivalent or interchangeable brand or generic drug is available at a lower cost.  This is of great concern to MOASC and the patient advocacy community because copay assistance programs are a valuable resource for many patients who may be struggling to afford increasing out of pocket costs with their insurance coverage for medications. For more information click here and go to MOASC News.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is offering a free one-hour webinar on April 12 to members to review the kinds of conversations that are necessary for effective care planning and when to have them. For more information click here and go to California News.

Bladder/Urothelial Tumor Markers Final LCD – Effective May 16, 2017
The following Local Coverage Determination (LCD) has completed the Open Public and Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) comment period and is now finalized. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), yesterday, released final updates to the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs for 2018. Through these changes, CMS seeks to support benefit flexibility and efficiency that allows Medicare enrollees to choose the care that best fits their health needs. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

The United States cancer care delivery system is undergoing profound changes to better meet the needs of people with cancer, but persistent hurdles threaten to slow progress, according to ASCO’s fourth annual State of Cancer Care in America report. The report is published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and was presented at a briefing on Capitol Hill. For more information click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

 

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

April 11, 2017

The MOASC Oncology Summit was held on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. In case you missed it, below is a synopsis of the event.
Opening Remarks and Program Moderator: Lawrence D. Piro, M.D., Vice President, MOASC; President and CEO, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute.
NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER
Session Moderator: Ashkan Lashkari, M.D. MOASC Board of Directors, Wellness Oncology Hematology.
· Edward B. Garon M.D., MS Associate Professor; Director of Thoracic Oncology- David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, presented: Personalizing lung cancer therapy in the era of next generation sequencing, targeted therapies, and emerging immunotherapies.
· Karen L. Reckamp, M.D., MS Associate Professor, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, presented: The role of utilizing next generation sequencing diagnostics in the treatment of lung cancer.

HOW DIAGNOSTIC TESTING FITS IN
Session Moderator: Ashkan Lashkari, M.D., MOASC Board of Directors, Wellness Oncology Hematology.
· David Spetzler, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Caris Life Sciences, presented: Profiling with Caris Molecular Intelligence and R&D offering ADAPT Bio-targeting System.
· James Suh, MD, Senior Pathologist and Associate Medical Director Laboratory Director, Research Triangle Park, NC, Foundation Medicine, presented: Comprehensive Genomic Profiling: Key Insights for Patient Care

SPECIALTY PHARMACY SERVICES

· Presented by: George Missailidis, Regional Director, Specialty Sales, Walgreens, Co.

MACRA- The Final Rule and What You Need to know!
Sybil Green, JD, Director of Coverage and Reimbursement, ASCO.
PROSTATE CANCER
· Session Moderator: Kevin Chang, M.D., PhD, MOASC Board of Directors, Ventura County Hematology Oncology specialist.
· Przemyslaw Twardowski, M.D., Associate Professor Medical Oncology, City of Hope.
· David I. Quinn, M.D., Associate Professor Medical Oncology, USC

MULTIPLE MYELOMA
Session Moderator: Warren H. Fong, M.D. President, Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc.
· Amrita Y. Krishnan, M.D., FACP Director, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research Professor, Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, City of Hope Medical Center, presented: Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Myeloma in Era of New Drugs.

The entire program was recorded and you can view here: Oncology Summit.

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • April is National Minority Health Month (California News)
  • MOASC Lunchtime Series presentation replay (MOASC News)
  • Hematologic Malignancies Updatesin 2017 (ANCO News)
  • Looking for an expert in melanoma (Affiliate News)

 

Thank you to those who completed the CDOC Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change survey. If you haven’t had a chance to complete the survey, please respond by TOMORROW Wednesday, April 5th, as CDOC continues to strengthen its Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change efforts as a means to effectively reduce the burden of cancer. For more information click here and go to California News.

Bladder/Urothelial Tumor Markers Final LCD – Effective May 16, 2017
The following Local Coverage Determination (LCD) has completed the Open Public and Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) comment period and is now finalized. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

California’s doctors and dentists have renewed their push for more money to treat Medi-Cal patients. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, and some health advocates, say they have other priorities for improving the low-income health program, which serves some 14 million residents, or about a third of the state’s population. Doctors expected better pay on a new tobacco tax passed by voters in November. Proposition 56 was estimated to add about $1.2 billion to the state’s Medi-Cal fund for 2017-18. For more information click here and go to Medi-Cal News.

CMS is releasing a Request for Information to welcome continued feedback on Medicare Advantage and Part D. CMS is soliciting ideas for regulatory, sub-regulatory, policy, practice and procedural changes to better accomplish transparency, flexibility, program simplification and innovation in Medicare Advantage and Part D. CMS is accepting comments on the Request for Information through April 24, 2017. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

 

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

April 4, 2017