DHCS releases two draft telehealth proposals for Medi-Cal patients.

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • DHCS releases two draft telehealth proposals for Medi-Cal patients (California News)
  • Oncology Health Care Trends webinar TOMORROW! (MOASC News)
  • Bipartisan group of S. House of Representatives signs letter to CMS to review and improve prior authorization practices under Medicare Advantage (National News)

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) released two draft proposals impacting telehealth policy for Medi-Cal patients.  The Department is soliciting feedback from interested stakeholders on both proposals. To read more click here and go to California News.

TOMORROW! Genentech cordially invites MOASC and ANCO members to the LunchTimes Series presentation, Oncology Health Care TrendsWednesday, October 31, 2018 at 12:00pm Pacific time. Dawn Holcombe, President DGH Consulting, will present perspectives from managed care organizations, specialty pharmacies, oncologists, practice managers and employers.  To read more click here and go to MOASC News.

A bipartisan group of more than 100 members of the United States House of Representatives signed a letter to CMS urging the Agency to review and improve the prior authorization practices under Medicare Advantage (MA). The letter cites concerns that MA beneficiaries may be encountering barriers in care due to “onerous and often unnecessary prior authorization requirements.”  To read more click here and go to National News.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar vowed to push forward with the administration’s plan to align prices paid by Medicare for most physician-administered drugs with prices paid in other countries, despite opposition from the pharmaceutical industry. The plan also would change how doctors are paid for drugs under Part B. The International Pricing Index Model would create a system in which physicians and hospital outpatient departments would no longer buy and bill for drugs under Part B.  To read more click here and go to CMS News.

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

October 30, 2018

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • California saw the worst flu season in a decade last year. Get your flu shot! (California News)
  • CDC’s Screen Out Cancer initiative increases cancer screening (National  News)
  • Physician Compare MLN Connects® National Provider call on 10/30/18 (CMS News)

Get your flu shot! Encourage your patients to do the same! California saw the worst flu season in a decade last year. Statewide, there were 164 flu-related deaths last year compared to 81 the year before. There’s no indication that this season’s will be as bad as last, but officials caution that the flu is unpredictable and people should take the necessary steps to protect their health. To read more click here and go to California News.

MOASC President and CMA Delegate, Warren Fong, M.D., with over 500 California physicians, recently convened the CMA’s 147th Annual House of Delegates meeting in Sacramento. The debated and outlined bold agenda addresses increase health care affordability, improve health care delivery, create efficiencies throughout the health care system, and improve health outcomes. To read more click here and go to California News.

ASCO is continuing their conversations with the FDA and others on the issue of drug shortages. ASCO would really like to hear from you regarding your experiences in your practices and with your patients. Generally it is ASCO’s understanding that injectable pain meds and IV solutions remain some of the greatest causes of concern, and it would be helpful to know if you are having to institute “workarounds.” In addition to these products, are you having trouble obtaining specific chemotherapy drugs and/or other supportive care drugs? Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated. To read more click here and go to National News.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week announced the 2019 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for Medicare Parts A and B. CMS launched the eMedicare Initiative that aims to modernize the way beneficiaries get information about Medicare and create new ways to help them make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15, 2018 and ends December 7, 2018. To read more click here and go to CMS News.

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

October 23, 2018

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • Four seats on the ANCO Board of Directors are up for election in 2018 (ANCO News)
  • AMA releases 334 updates to the CPT codes effective January 1, 2019 (National News)
  • ACCC 35th National Oncology Conference, October 18 & 19 (Affiliate Association News)

The California Medical Association’s (CMA) Center for Economic Services (CES) has published updated payer profiles on each of the major payers in California. To read more click here and go to California News. 

Four seats on the ANCO Board of Directors are up for election in 2018. ANCO seeks nominations for candidates for these seats. This year’s election will be conducted via mail ballot in December. Candidates with the top four vote totals will serve for three years (i.e., from 2019-2021, inclusive). To read more click here and go to ANCO News.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has released 334 updates to the CPT codes effective January 1, 2019. To read more click here and go to National News.

CMS has revised its Medicare program integrity manual as part of efforts to improve transparency in the local coverage determination process and expand patients’ access to new therapies and medical devices. Under the redesigned process, Medicare Administrative Contractors will be required to provide standardized summaries of clinical evidence supporting LCD decisions, give the public access to contractor advisory committee meetings and allow patients to request an LCD. To read more click here and go to CMS News.

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

October 9, 2018