National Policy Resources—Local Advocacy Results

As cancer care professionals who experience the challenges of providing quality cancer care first-hand, IOS members are well positioned to educate decision-makers on how coverage and reimbursement issues affect community oncology. State and federal legislation can have a significant impact on the financial viability of local cancer programs, which is why it's so important that our members make their voices heard.

In an effort to provide resources needed to effectively advocate on the issues that are important to them, our redesigned advocacy webpage features activity from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), national healthcare coverage through the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), local news articles and webinars, and more.

We want to hear from you! If there is a specific piece of legislation you want to know more about, an important resource we're missing, or if you want to get more involved, please contact us!

State Advocacy

House Unanimously Votes to Curb Non-Medical Switching of Prescriptions

The Iowa House has unanimously voted to set new rules to prevent prescription drug switches that are not done for medical reasons. Representative Gary Mohr of Bettendorf said this is to protect patients from being denied coverage or being required to accept higher co-pays in the middle of a health plan’s year.

Do you have a patient that has experienced this challenge? We would like to speak with you and/or the patient. Our goal is to share as many of these stories with Iowa legislators as we can. We can help put the message together and, if you’re interested, set up a meeting with your legislator. To participate, please contact Lu Anne Bankert at by Thursday, March 23, 2023.


Federal Advocacy

IOS Joins Coalition Letter Urging Addition of the Cures 2.0 Concept Paper Title IV Provisions in the Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The Iowa  Oncology Society (IOS) joined in a coalition letter to congressional leadership urging that Congress include the 21st Century Cures 2.0 concept paper, recently released by Representatives Diana DeGette and Fred Upton in upcoming legislation to further address the COVID-19 public health crisis. Specifically the letter urges leadership to include policy to provide Medicaid coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trials participation for patients with life-threatening conditions in every state. This critical protection is championed by Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Gus Bilirakis in the Clinical Treatment Act (H.R. 913).



Advocacy In the News

New CMS Data Shows Increased Medicare Telemedine Utilization During COVID-19

On December 3, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new data snapshot, featuring telemedicine utilization data that make the case for expanded and permanent telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries.

These data are about people with Medicare who used telemedicine services between March 1, 2020, and February 8, 2021, and they come from Medicare Fee-for-Service data, Medicare Advantage encounter data, and Medicare enrollment information.

CMS states that the agency has seen large increases in telemedicine use during the defined time frame with variations across geographic and demographic groups. This increase is credited to the agency's expansion of telemedicine services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The snapshot shows that telemedicine utilization (e.g., telehealth, e-visits, and virtual check-ins) increased from 910,490 unique users pre-pandemic to 28,255,180 unique users during the pandemic. And the majority (53%) of the pandemic's telemedicine users were Medicare beneficiaries. To see a detailed breakdown of these data, read the full snapshot report.

For more information on Medicare's telemedicine expansions, visit its dedicated telehealth website.

Posted 12/9/2021

Oncology State Societies at ACCC: Snapshot from the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting

In this clip, Stephanie Van Winkle, Executive Director of the Oncology State Societies at ACCC, gives an overview of the important work the Oncology State Societies does to empower its members around state and federal advocacy issues, and help them support cancer care delivery in their state. Join today

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