As cancer care professionals who experience the challenges of providing quality cancer care first-hand, TOPS 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 weekly legislation updates from the Tennesee General Assembly, local news, 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!
Jan 15, 2020
The Board, along with our lobbyist Courtney Atnip, met with Representative Robin Smith, Chair of the House Insurance Committee. She understands the issues and has offered to be assistance as we explore legislative options to reverse this policy. TOPS has also been in contact with the Tennessee Medical Association and other medical societies, for support in this cause.
Late last month, the Tennessean published an article, which inaccurately portrayed the true effects of these changes and what it will mean to the delivery of cancer care. The TOPS Board has written the attached op-ed piece and is working with a media company to have it placed in newspapers across the state.
As the legislative session begins, TOPS will be creating a one-pager to share with legislators to help them better understand the effects of the policy change. Once this is complete, we will also share with you to provide information to your practice and patients.
Stay tuned for further updates as TOPS works hard for the oncology community of Tennessee.
Read TOPS Board Response
Dec 2, 2019
We wanted to alert you to a policy change out of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The October 2019 Blue Alert from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, announced that beginning Jan. 1, 2020, all BlueCare, TennCareSelect and CoverKids claims for specialty pharmacy drugs must be submitted by specialty pharmacy providers. Claims for specialty drugs submitted by other providers will be denied.
This policy of “white bagging” is of great concern to the TOPS.
TOPS is committed to fighting this policy change on behalf of our members and the patients we care for. Over the next two weeks, with the help of our lobbyist Courtney Atnip, TOPS leadership will be meeting with representatives from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee followed by a meeting with Representative Robin Smith, Chair of the House Insurance Committee, to further discuss our concerns with white bagging and the negative impact to our patients.
Please keep an eye out for any “calls to action” that might be needed by you. We hope BlueCross BlueShield will reverse the policy change but know we might have to use legislative action, in which case, we will need your help!
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Legislative Update: February 7, 2020
Entering his second year in office, Gov. Bill Lee unveiled his top priorities and spending proposals for 2020 in his State of the State address on Monday. Among his top initiatives include a four percent raise for teachers, 12 weeks paid family leave for state workers, and a $250 million endowment to address mental health in K-12 education.
TN Oncology Practice Society Bill Report 2/7/20
TOPS Capitol Hill Day participants met with leadership from the Tennessee House of Representatives, including Speaker Glen Casada; Majority Leader Rep. William Lamberth; Chairman of the Facilities, Licensure & Regulation subcommittee, Rep. Kevin Vaughan; Chair Lady of the Life & Health Insurance subcommittee, Rep. Robin Smith; and Chairman of the TennCare subcommittee, Rep. Matthew Hill. In addition to meeting with important health committee leadership, TOPS members sat-in on the Life & Health subcommittee to hear legislation regarding the Tennessee Right to Shop Act.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Tennessee General Assembly
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