Comments are due September 13, on proposed rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule!

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • You have until this Thursday, August 26, to have a voice in insurers step therapy protocols, AB347! California News
  • Comments are due September 13, on proposed rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule! CMS News & ASCO News
  • Tomorrow, August 25, MOASC LunchTime Series discussing new California law affecting your practice. MOASC News
  • FDA amends emergency use authorizations for certain COVID-19 vaccines. Medicare News/Noridian News

MOASC members are experiencing issues with Blue Shield of CA – Commercial Plans requiring White Bagging of drugs. MOASC is trying to determine if this is just a few offices or across Southern California. To read more, click here and go to MOASC News.

Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) has authored Assembly Bill (AB) 347, which would create a more transparent and standardized process in step therapy protocols. The bill would require health insurers to formulate a standard exception process, require an insurer to send an approval or denial request, and create clinical peer-to-peer review appeals by specialists working in similar medical fields. To read more, click here and go to California News.

The FDA amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to allow for an additional dose in certain immunocompromised people. Effective August 12, 2021, CMS will pay to administer additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines consistent with the FDA EUAs using CPT code 0003A (Pfizer) and 0013A (Moderna). To read more, click here and go to Medicare News/Noridian News.

Last week public health and medical experts from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a joint statement on the Administration’s plan for COVID-19 booster shots for the American people. To read more, click here and go to National News.

The ACCC has partnered with The PROVE Center at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) for a proposed research study, Bridging the Gap in Breast Cancer Disparities: Implementing Patient-Reported Outcomes in Data Collection Across Cancer Centers. To read more, click here and go to Affiliate Association News.

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

August 24, 2021

 

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • Blue Shield of CA – Commercial Plans requiring White Bagging MOASC News
  • This Thursday! 8/19, Practical Tips for Prostate Cancer, Genomic Testing Forum MOASC News
  • This Thursday! 8/19, E&M 2021 Clarifications Medicare News/Noridian Programs
  • CDC directs individuals to talk to their doctors about evolving Covid-19 vaccine recommendations. National News
  • This Thursday! 8/19, What to do after graduation from fellowship? ANCO News

MOASC Office has been informed that some MOASC members are experiencing issues with Blue Shield of CA – Commercial Plans requiring White Bagging of drugs. MOASC is trying to determine if this is just a few offices or across Southern California. To read more click here and go to MOASC News.

MOASC will host a live webinar on Practical Tips for Prostate Cancer, Genomic Testing Forum. Matthew Rettig, MD, Professor of Medicine and Urology, Medical Director Prostate Cancer Program, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Chief, Division of Hematology-Oncology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and Stephen Freedland, M.D., Warschaw, Robertson and Law Families; Chair in Prostate Cancer, Professor of Surgery (Urology), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Staff Physician, Durham VA Medical Center, will lead discussions. To read more click here and go to MOASC News/MOASC Programs

As drought persists across more than 95% of the American West, water elevation at the Hoover Dam has sunk to record-low levels, endangering a source of hydroelectric power for an estimated 1.3 million people across California, Nevada and Arizona. The water level at Lake Mead, the Colorado River reservoir serving the Hoover Dam, fell to the lowest level since the lake was first filled following the dam’s construction in the 1930s. This month, the federal government is expected to declare a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering cutbacks in water allocations to surrounding states from the river. Widespread drought conditions throughout the Southwest over the past 20 years have led to a more than 130-foot drop in the water level at Lake Mead since 2000. To read more click here and go to California News.

Medicare stands ready to pay for administering an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine consistent with the FDA emergency use authorization (EUA). CMS will pay the same amount to administer this additional dose as for other doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (approximately $40 each). Billing and coding information will be published in the coming days. To read more click here and go to Medicare News/CMS News.

CDC Covid-19 vaccine recommendations are evolving. CDC now recommends that people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. To read more click here and go to National News.

To read the complete Californai Oncology Weekly Nesletter, click on the date below

August 17, 2021

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • August 11, MOASC will host a live Zoom meeting on Innovative Immunotherapy in Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma. Evolving Science, Key Clinical Evidence, and Implications for Multidisciplinary Management MOASC News
  • California Department of Public Health issues public order requiring all health care professionals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30. California News
  • Start analyzing the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule impact on your practice. CMS News
  • August 11, COA Patient Advocacy Network virtual Advocacy Chat Affiliate Association News/ACCC News

August 11, 5:30-6:30 PDT, MOASC will host a live Zoom meeting on Innovative Immunotherapy in Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma. Evolving Science, Key Clinical Evidence, and Implications for Multidisciplinary Management. To read more click here and go to MOASC News.

The California Department of Public Health last Thursday issued a public order requiring all health care professionals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 30. To read more click here and go to California News.

The 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) changes are economically impacting all healthcare organizations. The impact of these changes varies depending on many factors such as specialty type, case volume, and historical provider compensation per wRVU. Have you taken the time to analyze your situation? You can start estimating the impact of these changes today with the Coker Group E/M Coding Calculator. To read more click here and go to Medicare News/CMS News.

Congress is moving forward on the draft 340B discounts, “follow the patient,” bill which will reimburse “eligible health care providers” for unreimbursed costs for 340B covered drugs. Linked here are: The draft bill (revised); an overview of the bill, and a section-by-section description of the bill. To read more click here and go to National News.

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

August 10, 2021

This Weekly’s Hot Topics

  • California rule effective in August will require masks to be worn California News
  •  Blue Shield of California offers assistance to Blue Shield of California members affected by wildfires in California California News
  •  Cancer Care Planning & Communications Act (HR4414) introduced National News
  •  Tonight, Tuesday, August 3, 11:59 p.m. PDT, is the deadline to submit your best new scientific research in hematology Affiliate Association News/ASH News

A California rule taking effect in August will require state employees, health care providers and facilities, and workers in congregate settings to provide verification of their COVID-19 vaccination status or undergo mandatory periodic COVID-19 testing. The state will also require unvaccinated workers at outpatient facilities, such as dental offices, to wear masks and get tested for COVID-19 weekly. To read more click here and go to California News.

Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA), co-chairs of the Congressional Cancer Survivors Caucus, on July 13, introduced the Cancer Care Planning & Communications Act (HR4414), which would create a Medicare service for cancer care planning. The legislation would improve doctor-patient communication by enabling doctors to bill Medicare for the time they spend developing comprehensive cancer care plans, at diagnosis, when there is a change in treatment plan, and at the transition to post-treatment survivorship. To read more click here and go to National News.

Tonight, Tuesday, August 3, 11:59 p.m. PDT, is the deadline to submit your best new scientific research in hematology. To read more click here and go to Affiliate Association News/ASH News

Join COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) for a virtual Advocacy Chat. The chat will feature Brenda McGarr, RN, an oncology nurse at Augusta Oncology in Augusta, GA. With more than 17 years in the field, Brenda has experience from around the field, operating as an oncology nurse navigator, inpatient nurse, case manager, and other positions. Additionally, Brenda is the CPAN Chapter Leader for Augusta Oncology, working with passionate advocates to make sure their voice is heard from Atlanta to Washington, DC. To read more click here and go to Affiliate Association News/COA News

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

August 3, 2021