California Oncology Weekly Newsletter 7.18.17

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This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • CMS issues proposed rule update to Medicare payment and policies for CY 2018 (Noridian News)
  • Patients’ Access to Treatment Act (R. 2999) introduced in the House of Representatives. (National News)
  • The Medicare trust fund will be insolvent by 2029 (CMS News)


In what may be the first-of-its-kind lawsuit related to California’s End of Life Option Act, the family of a San Francisco terminally ill cancer patient is suing the UC San Francisco Medical Center alleging that her physician and the system misrepresented that they would help the dying woman use California’s right-to-die law when her time came. Instead, according to the July 7 civil lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court, Judy Dale’s wish for a peaceful death was denied to her by the defendants’ “conscious choice to suppress and conceal’’ their decision that they would not participate in the law, despite Dale’s repeated indications to doctors and social workers that she intended to use its provisions. gave her over and over.’’ For more information click here and go to California News.

On July 13, CMS issued a proposed rule that would update Medicare payment and policies for doctors and other clinicians who treat Medicare patients in CY 2018. The proposed rule is one of several Medicare payment rules for CY 2018 that reflect a broader strategy to relieve regulatory burdens for providers; support the patient-doctor relationship in healthcare; and promote transparency, flexibility, and innovation in the delivery of care. The Physician Fee Schedule is updated annually to include changes to payment policies, payment rates, and quality provisions for services furnished to Medicare beneficiaries. For more information click here and go to Noridian News.

Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) recently introduced the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act (H.R. 2999) in the House of Representatives. The legislation aims to remove the burden of excessive cost sharing for Americans who need high-cost, specialty-tier medications. Currently, many insurance companies divide prescription medications into cost-sharing tiers. For more information click here and go to National News.

CMS released its proposed FY 2018 Payment Rules, Proposing Significant Cuts to 340B Hospitals and New Outpatient Facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed CY 2018 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) payment rules, which contain significant provisions that would reduce payments to hospitals participating in the 340B Drug Pricing Program and to new off-campus provider-based facilities billing under OPPS. For more information click here and go to CMS News.

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

July 18, 2017 

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