FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dec 28, 2020
Washington, D.C. (December 28, 2020)—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) celebrates the inclusion of the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act (H.R. 913) and the delay in implementation of the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model to January 1, 2022 in the recent year-end funding bill.
The large omnibus bill, signed by President Trump yesterday, allows clinical trials to now be an option for many patients who previously were unable to access them. Clinical trials often provide the best option for difficult to treat cancers. Increasing potential enrollments to clinical trials is one way to increase patient diversity when researching new therapies. Greater clinical trials participation from marginalized and underrepresented groups is known to be important in overcoming critical barriers to health equity and improving the validity of data.
Randall A. Oyer, MD, ACCC President, selected his 2020-2021 President's Theme as Community Oncology Can Close the Gap in Cancer Research, which aims to address the challenges and barriers to clinical trials adoption in community oncology programs and practices.
“ACCC has long advocated for expanded access to clinical trials for all patients. Until now, some cancer patients were disadvantaged by Medicaid’s failure to provide coverage for clinical trials. With the passage of the CLINICAL TREATMENT Act, many patients previously denied access to clinical trial participation will be able to receive innovative and potentially life extending therapies,” Dr. Oyer stated.
The 5,593 page bill also delays the implementation of the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model from the previous delay of July 1, 2021 to January 1, 2022. ACCC recommends that CMS perform a study on the impact this model will have on patient access to care before its implementation.
ACCC Government Affairs member and radiation oncologist, Laeton Pang, MD said “The delay in the Radiation Oncology model to January 2022 is encouraging. It is important that any models that come out do not impose any additional regulatory burdens on our clinics, especially while we continue to work towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic”
ACCC will continue to closely follow these new developments and is hopeful in the tremendous impact they will have on increasing clinical trial accruals and decreasing health disparities among those with cancer who previously were unable to access clinical trials.
If you have any questions about our statement or would like to discuss in further detail, please contact Christian G. Downs, JD, MHA, ACCC Executive Director, at 301.984.9496 or firstname.lastname@example.org.