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.
Lilly announces their Thyroid Cancer Testing Program designed to provide access to molecular testing for appropriate advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (“MTC”) patients 12 years of age and older who require systemic therapy; and advanced or metastatic non-medullary thyroid cancer (“non-MTC”) patients 12 years of age and older who are radioactive iodine-refractory (if radioactive iodine is appropriate).
Appropriate patients are eligible for one molecular test at no cost for the purpose of determining whether the patient has any actionable genetic alterations that may inform therapeutic decisions, without regard to purchase of any prescribed drug or any other product.*
No patient, healthcare program, payer, or beneficiary shall be billed for any test ordered pursuant to the Thyroid Cancer Testing Program.
To request a test for your patient <and understand further requirements>, you may download the Thyroid Cancer Testing Program Test Request Form.
The Thyroid Cancer Testing Program is NOT available to New York State patients and facilities as the aforementioned NGS tests have not been approved by the New York State Department of Health.
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 20, 2020, Martin Palmeri, MD, MBA, medical oncologist at Messino Cancer Centers (MCC) and secretary/treasurer of the North Carolina Oncology Association (NCOA), was named "Advocacy Champion" by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for his work on Capitol Hill in helping to ensure patient access to high-quality cancer care.
On August 4, 2020, Messino Cancer Centers (MCC), a partner practice of American Oncology Network, LLC (AON), announced that medical oncologist and the 2011-2014 member of the North Carolina Oncology Association (NCOA) Board of Directors Michael Messino, MD, received North Carolina’s highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is an honor granted by the State of North Carolina to individuals who have shown extraordinary service to the state. Senator Terry Van Duyn presented the award to Dr. Messino on July 31, 2020.
Read the press release.
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.