California Oncology Weekly Newsletter 5.30.2017

This Weekly’s Hot Topic

Elect, oncologist, Barbara McAneny MD for President-Elect of the American Medical Association.

A proposed single-payer health system in California would cost about $400 billion annually, with up to half of that money coming from a new payroll tax on workers and employers, according to a state analysis. The report by the state Senate Appropriations Committee put a price tag for the first time on legislation that would make the state responsible for providing health coverage to all 39 million Californians. For more information click here and go to California News.

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has submitted final designs to evaluate four programs under California’s Medi-Cal 2020 demonstration for approval by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) This is in response to CMS’ request for comments and stakeholder feedback on the draft evaluation designs. For more information click here and go to DHCS/Medi-Cal News. 

The FDA is looking at ways to speed up the approval of generic medicines as part of the Trump administration’s effort to lower drug prices. Newly installed FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told a congressional panel that the agency is crafting a “drug competition action plan” aimed at expediting approval of generic versions of brand-name medications that lack competition. For more information click here and go to National News. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identity theft, and safeguard taxpayer dollars. The new cards will use a unique, randomly-assigned number called a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), to replace the Social Security-based Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) currently used on the Medicare card. For more information click here and go to CMS News. 

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May 30, 2017 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • ACT NOW to STOP Gov. Brown from stealing your money! California News
  • Welcome MOASC’s newest Board Member, Dr. Himani Singh! MOASC News
  • Support Barbara McAneny, M.D. for President-Elect of the AMA.! ANCO News

Gov. Brown released the 2017-18 May revised budget last week, and it still takes tobacco tax revenues (from Proposition 56) away from increasing provider reimbursements to fill gaps in the General Fund. This is completely unacceptable! For more information click here and go to California News.

AB 265 – Co-Pay card ban bill is in appropriations committee and could soon make its way to the floor for a vote. Since the introduction of the bill there have been several amendments, however there are still a few issues outstanding that could impact patients’ ability to access medications that their provider prescribed.  For more information click here and go to California News.

Effective June 21, 2017, providers MUST use the most recent version of the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) Form CMS-R-131 with the March 2020 expiration date. If the new form is not used on or after this date, any new ABN executed on the old form will be considered invalid and would result in provider liability if Medicare denies the claim.  For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

Subscribers of the PQRS listserv are encouraged to sign up for the new CMS Quality Payment Program listserv.  The Quality Payment Program is part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and includes two tracks — Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). For more information click here and go to CMS News.

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May 23, 2017 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • How California Physicians Can Access Free Technical Assistance for MACRA Transition California News
  • CMS is reviewing claims and letting practices know which clinicians need to take part in MIPS. Noridian News
  • VOTE Barbara McAneny, M.D., for President-Elect of the AMA. ANCO News

 

The California Medical Association (CMA) is hosting a webinar on May 17 at 12:15PM to educate physicians about AB72. On July 1, this new law takes effect that will change the billing practices of non-participating physicians providing non-emergent care at in-network facilities. For more information click here and go to California News.

CMA is hosting a webinar entitled How California Physicians Can Access Free Technical Assistance for MACRA Transition on May 31 at 12:15PM.  For more information click here and go to California News.

CMS is reviewing claims and letting practices now which clinicians need to take part in MIPS. Through May, more than 200,000 practices will get a letter from Noridian/JEMAC informing them of the participation status of each NPI for the qualifying clinicians associated with the TIN of a practice.  For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting pursuant to MACRA/QPP. The webinars will take place on June 19 (Quality Payment Program: Scoring for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities), and July 10 (Quality Payment Program: Optimizing Your MIPS Score).  For more information click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

 

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

May 16, 2017

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • Independent Physician Advisory Board repeal “Blitz Week”(MOASC News)
  • Clinicians can now determine their MIPS participation status (CMS News)
  • ASCO clinical practice guideline for Stages I-IIIA Resectable Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. (Affiliate Association News)

On July 1, a new law (AB72) takes effect that will change the billing practices of non-participating physicians providing non-emergent care at in-network facilities. The law is designed to reduce unexpected medical bills when patients go to an in-network facility and receive care from an out-of-network doctor. The California Medical Association (CMA) is hosting a webinar to educate physicians about the new law on May 17 at 12:15PM. For more information click here and go to California News.

This week is the first “Blitz Week” where the Healthcare Leadership Council will be focusing on California, Pennsylvania and Texas to garner cosponsors for IPAB Independent Payment Advisory Board repeal legislation. THIS WEEK ONLY! If you, or have patients who, live in the following districts please contact:  Rep. Susan Davis (D/CA-53); Rep. Mimi Walters (R/CA-45); Rep. Judy Chu (D/CA-27); Rep. Jeff Denham (R/CA-10) All others are asked to communicate with their house representative asking them to please support H.R. 849 and H.J. Res. 51. Both stop IPAB but in different ways. Communicate with Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris to please ask fellow DEMOCRATS to support S.251 and S.J. Res. 16. For more information click here and go to MOASC News.

Unsure of your participation status in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)? Clinicians can now use an interactive tool on the CMS Quality Payment Program website to determine if they should participate in the MIPS track of the Quality Payment Program in 2017. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting pursuant to MACRA/QPP. The webinars will take place on May 15 (Quality Payment Program: Scoring the Quality Measures), June 19 (Quality Payment Program: Scoring for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities), and July 10 (Quality Payment Program: Optimizing Your MIPS Score). For more information click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

 

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May 9, 2017 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • Oncology Clinical Pathway Act of 2017 (AB1107) (California News)
  • ANCO Presidentmeetings reports (ANCO News)
  • May is skin cancer awareness month (National News)

ANCO/MOASC-sponsored legislation entitled the Oncology Clinical Pathway Act of 2017 (AB1107) would require health plans that choose to develop oncology clinical pathways to meet specific standards regarding those pathways and to divulge specific information to in-network providers upon request. For more information click here and go to California News.

There is Still Time to Evaluate Noridian’s Services! Share your experiences about the services Noridian provides. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

MOASC Board of Directors has endorsed New Mexico medical oncologist, Barbara McAneny MD in her campaign for President-Elect of the American Medical Association (AMA).  MOASC asks members who are AMA members to reach out to their AMA delegates and encourage them to vote for Dr. McAneny for President-Elect in the June 2017 election. For more information click here and go to MOASC News.

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) with the Community Oncology Pharmacy Association (COPA) have been heavily involved in fighting back on CVS Caremark’s decision to cease contracting with “Physician In-Office Dispensaries.” COPA is looking to see if there are any physician dispensing pharmacies that previously had been denied in the CVS/Caremark network to eventually getting approved to be in the CVS Caremark network this year. Below, is a letter from CVS Caremark to physicians regarding CVS Caremark’s current position. For more information click here and go to National News.

 

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May 02, 2017