On Friday, September 18, 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model. The RO Model seeks to improve the quality of care for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) and move toward a simplified and predictable payment system. The RO Model tests whether bundled, prospective, site neutral, modality agnostic, episode-based payments to physician group practices, hospital outpatient departments, and freestanding radiation therapy centers for RT episodes of care reduces Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The RO Model has a five-year Model performance period that begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through December 31, 2025.
For additional information on the final rule and the model, please visit the radiation oncology website. The following resource documents about RO may also be helpful: Press Release, Fact Sheet, and Final Rule. For questions regarding the RO Model, please reach out to the RO Model Helpdesk by phone: 1.844.711.2664, option 5; or email: RadiationTherapy@cms.hhs.gov.
On September 2, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) and Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTCH) final rule, which includes important provisions designed to ensure access to potentially life-saving diagnostics and therapies for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries. The changes will affect approximately 3,200 acute care hospitals and approximately 360 Long-Term Care Hospitals. CMS estimates that total Medicare spending on acute care inpatient hospital services will increase by about $3.5 billion in FY 2021, or 2.7 percent.
CMS’ rule creates a new Medicare Severity Diagnostic Related Group (MS-DRG) that provides a predictable payment to help adequately compensate hospitals for administering Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies.
Also in the final rule, CMS approved a record number of 24 new technology add-on payments, which is an additional payment to hospitals for cases involving eligible new and relatively high cost technologies. This will provide additional Medicare payment for these technologies while real-world evidence is emerging, giving Medicare beneficiaries timely access to the latest innovations.
Read the fact sheet and final rule from the Federal Register.
On August 4, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Reimbursement (CMS) issued the calendar year (CY) 2021 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Proposed Rule (CMS-1736-P). ACCC and council are reviewing these proposed rules and will be providing comments.
Until this analysis is complete, read the proposed OPPS rule and the proposed PFS rule. Then register for ACCC’s August 14 webcast on The 2021 Proposed PFS and OPPS Rules: Practical Implications and Considerations to gain insight into how these proposed rules will affect your cancer program.
On July 31, 2020 MorphoSys and Incyte announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Monjuvi® (tafasitamab-cxix) in combination with lenalidomide for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from low grade lymphoma, and who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplant.
Read corporate press release.
Read FDA announcement.
On June 29, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co.) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic MSI-H or dMMR colorectal cancer (CRC).
MSI-H/dMMR testing is required prior to initiating treatment with Keytruda in these patients. For the MSI-H/dMMR indication, select patients for treatment with Keytruda as a single agent based on MSI-H/dMMR status in tumor specimens. An FDA-approved test for the detection of MSI-H or dMMR is not currently available.
Read prescribing information and medication guide.
On June 24, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co.) injection 100 mg for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) that is not curable by surgery or radiation.
Read FDA announcement and prescribing information.
Effective July 1, 2020, ENHERTU® (fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki) has a permanent j-code: J9358. ENHERTU is a HER2-directed antibody and topoisomerase inhibitor conjugate indicated for the treatment of adult patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received two or more prior anti-HER2–based regimens in the metastatic setting.
For full prescribing information, click here.
Due to increasing demand for the program’s financial assistance, the individual grant award amount has been changed to $300 effective immediately. This adjustment will allow thousands of additional patients to receive meaningful financial support for nutritional needs while maximizing the reach of available funding as the number of people impacting by COVID 19 continues to accelerate.
To date, the COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program has helped more than 13,000 patients, including 1,000 emergency food deliveries made and over 12,000 financial assistance grants being provided to patients in all 50 states.
This innovative program is a collaboration between Team Rubicon (TR) and Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) and provides emergency food delivery and financial assistance to people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Who is Eligible?
Patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis who have trouble accessing or affording food or other nutritional needs due to COVID-19, with eligibility established at the point of application in most cases.
For more information, including application instructions, click here.
On June 29, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck & Co.) for the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) colorectal cancer.
Read FDA announcement.