On Friday, May 17, 2019, immuno-oncology and policy experts convened in Washington, D.C., for a one-day summit to discuss future policy direction related to patient access and treatment with immunotherapies, as well as to collaboratively identify potential solutions and best practices. The conversation explored critical issues facing the immuno-oncology community and helped to identify key priorities and next steps to accelerate the advancement of immuno-oncology in the community setting. The summit discussion was framed around three key areas: telehealth, care coordination and workforce, and CAR-T therapy.
Participants called for advocacy action around standardizing both telehealth reimbursement and licensing at the federal level to facilitate greater adoption in oncology and immunotherapy care delivery. There was also an expressed need for guidance from ACCC around telehealth implementation, reimbursement and regulatory information, and best practices.
Hear more from panelist,James McElligott, MD, MSCR, Medical University of South Carolina.
The discussion on care coordination and workforce issues focused on the role of patient navigators and related reimbursement and training issues. Participants highlighted the need for increased training of, and communication with, non-oncology providers to truly optimize care coordination for patients treated with immunotherapy across the care continuum. The role of telehealth and online platforms was noted as a potential solution for expanding and improving care coordination; however, participants agreed that this would require appropriate reimbursement.
Hear more from panelist, Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, and ACCC IO Institute Executive Committee member, Sigrun Hallmeyer, MD, Advocate Lutheran Medical Center and PRC Russell Institute.
CMS has yet to release the final NCD describing changes to national Medicare coverage policy for CAR-T therapy. During the summit, the status of the much-anticipated NCD led to in-depth conversations related to reimbursement and challenges presented by the high price tag for CAR-T therapy. Participants commented on the need for additional advocacy efforts to lower costs and ease the burden of CAR-T startup and implementation. Hear more from panelists, Robert Richards, MBA, Penn Medicine, and Sarah Murawski, MPAS, PA-C, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.
Learn more about the CMS Proposed NCD for CAR-T therapy, as well as other policy and advocacy initiatives here.
ACCC Executive Director Christian Downs, JD, MHA, and SITC Executive Director Tara Withington, CAE, share their thoughts on how the partnership between their two organizations will help to deliver innovative ideas and knowledge to the greater oncology community in an actionable way.
Lee. S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, provides an overview of the ACCC-SITC Joint Immuno-Oncology Policy Summit.
Lee. S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, reviews key takeaways from the ACCC-SITC Joint Immuno-Oncology Policy Summit.
Mark Faries, MD, and Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, discuss the importance of convening leaders in the field to share their unique perspectives on tackling IO challenges and preparing for the future.
As Immunotherapy continues to advance as treatment modality, Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO, and Howard L. Kaufman, MD, FACS, reflect on the importance of clinical trials and combination therapies for improving the efficacy of immunotherapy.
Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, discusses the importance of immunotherapies in oncology.
Nikesh Kotecha, PhD, and Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN, discuss strategies for overcoming cost barriers as they related to immunotherapies.