California Oncology Weekly Newsletter 6.27.2017

In honor of our country’s independence, the California Oncology Weekly  is taking a holiday to celebrate 241 years of the best form of democracy in the world. There will be no edition published next week.

ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!

 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • Send your letter of support for AB315, TODAY! (California News)
  • MOASC seeks your feedback. (MOASC News)
  • CMS MU hardship exceptions deadline is THIS Saturday, July 1 (CMS News)

 

ANCO & MOASC want to thank the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) for their letter of support for California Senate bill AB 315 (Wood, Dahle): Pharmacy benefit management. ANCO and MOASC are pleased to support AB 315, which would require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be licensed and regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC).  It also requires a PBM to periodically disclose to a purchaser key information such as drug acquisition cost, rebates received from pharmaceutical manufacturers, and rates negotiated with pharmacies.  AB 315 is a critical first step in bringing to light the role PBMs play in the drug supply chain and how those entities contribute to the cost of health care.  In recent years, the PBM marketplace has transformed considerably. For more information click here, and go to California News.

 

MOASC seeks your feedback. The MOASC Office is in receipt of a letter from one of our southern California members. Though a specific organization is mentioned, MOASC would like to know if you have received a similar notice from Blue Shield in your area, with, perhaps the name of your local organization? We believe this may affect other markets, as well. For more information click here, and go to MOASC News.

 

The hardship exceptions deadline is THIS Saturday, July 1. CMS has been accepting hardship exceptions from the meaningful use requirements of the EHR incentive payment program for the 2016 reporting year. Physicians who can show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship can apply for a one-year exception and avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2018. For more information click here, and go to CMS News.

 

What’s Next for Medicare? Millions of seniors and patients rely on Medicare for access to needed treatments. Proposed changes to Medicare could affect coverage for all beneficiaries. Join Medicare Rx Access Network (MRAN) CA/NV Partners, this Thursday, June 29th 10:00am – 10:30am Pacific time. For more information click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

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

June 27, 2017 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • TOMORROW! June 21, 2017, providers MUST use the most recent version of the ABN (Noridian News)
  • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2017 Report to Congress (National News)
  • CMS will pay you for your input! CMS wants to improve its Quality Payment Program (QPP) website(qpp.cms.gov) (CMS News)

The California Medical Association has updated its Health Law Library with 2017 content, including a MACRA Overview and California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. CMA members can access On-Call documents free and non-members can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page. For more information click here and go to California News.

TOMORROW! 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 got to Noridian News.

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2017 Report to Congress, issuing several major recommendations related to Medicare Part B drug payments.  MedPAC’s recommendations include a reduction in Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC)-based payments and a reduction in the average sales price (ASP) add-on payment. Medicare also would develop a program that would allow providers to use private Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM)-style vendors to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers.  For more information click here and go to National News.

Earlier this year, COA submitted formal comments on the draft recommendations to MedPAC. In the letter, COA expressed its deep concern that the proposal completely ignores the realities of the American cancer care delivery system.  If implemented, COA believes that these recommendations will backfire, causing the opposite of their intent, driving more cancer care into the much more expensive hospital setting and accelerating increases in Part B costs for Medicare and beneficiaries. For more information click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

 

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

June 20, 2017

 

This Weekly’s Hot Topic!

The American Medical Association members voted for New Mexico oncologist Dr. Barbara McAneny as their president-elect during the organization’s annual House of Delegates meeting in Chicago today.

The Legislature and Governor have come to an agreement regarding the allocation of the tobacco funds for the Medi-Cal program.  AB 120 allocates $325 million for Medi-Cal supplemental payments for physician services and $140 million for Denti-Cal services.  Additional allocations of $81 for women’s health, HIV/AIDs, and Developmentally Delayed health services.  The remaining $700 million will go to backfill the Medi-Cal budget for the expansion population. For more information click here and go to California News.

CMS is readying a fraud intervention initiative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help combat identify 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.

ASH is now accepting nominations for members to participate in its seventh annual Advocacy Leadership Institute that will take place September 27-28, 2017, in Washington, DC. This two-day workshop is an exciting opportunity for ASH members who wish to learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology research and practice. For more information click here and go to National News.

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

June 13, 2017  

This Weekly’s Hot Topic

  • AB 1107 (Nazarian) held in Assembly Appropriations Committee (California News)
  • New ABN must be used eff. 06/21/17 (Noridian News)
  • July 1st deadline for hardship exceptions from meaningful use requirements (CMS News)

Having worked many hours with the Assemblyman and many hours of negotiations in the legislative halls of Sacramento, the California Cancer PAC is disappointed to have to report that our bill AB 1107 (Nazarian) transparency of insurance company generated pathways, was held in Assembly Appropriations Committee. For more information click here and go to California News.

The Assembly and Senate Budget Committees have voted to reject the Governor’s budget proposal! However, each house has introduced different Prop 56 spending proposals that will need to be reconciled in the Legislative Budget Conference Committee. 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.

Read Dr. Fong’s brief to the MOASC Board regarding his conversation with California Assembly Health Committee consultant, Dr. John Gilman, regarding California legislation AB 265.  For more information click here and go to MOASC News.

With the deadline of July 1, CMS has announced that it is now accepting hardship exceptions from the meaningful use requirements of the EHR incentive payment program for the 2016 reporting year. Physicians who can show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship can apply for a one-year exception and avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2018. To be considered for an exemption (to avoid a payment adjustment), you must complete a hardship exception application and provide proof of the hardship. If approved, the hardship exemption is valid for one payment year. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

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

June 6, 2017