What's New at the TN Capitol

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!


Legislative Developments

Legislative Update: 

August 10, 2020

Following Thursday’s primary election, of the four Senators (3 Republican, 1 Democrat), and 23 Representatives (14 Republican, 9 Democrat) facing primary challengers, all but four will likely return to the legislature in 2021 to serve in the 112th General Assembly. As the legislature heads into its special session this week, the membership of the 111th General Assembly will remain true to its current form.

Read Full Update

2020 Midterm Election Candidates

July 29, 2020

A listing of all Tennessee primary and general election candidates in light of the approaching 2020 midterm elections.

Midterm Election Candidates

Executive Order Allows Tennesseans to Return to Work

May 4, 2020

Governor Lee has issued several updated Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These orders will directly affect you, your employees, and/or your business practices for the foreseeable future. It is our intention to keep you updated with all administrative changes that occur during this time period so that you can plan accordingly.

Attached is a summary of all Executive Orders related to COVID-19 and the applicable expiration date. Note that these orders are fluid and will continue to evolve as we learn more about the virus and its effect on our economy and healthcare system. We will continue to monitor any changes and provide prompt reports as needed.
Download COVID-19 Executive Summary

Legislative Update: June 19, 2020

On Friday, June 19, the second half of the 111th Tennessee General Assembly concluded early morning. In what could effectively be deemed an “unprecedented” session, lawmakers were forced to pause business for eight weeks in March due to public health concerns arising from the pandemic. In a week’s time, the body passed “essential to function” legislation and an emergency budget.
Read Full Update

Legislative Update: May 1, 2020

On Tuesday, April 28, Governor Lee's office issued Executive Order 30, which "supersedes and repeals" previous orders related to COVID-19 containment, allowing most businesses to reopen under new health restrictions.
Read Full Update

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Coverage Change: Our Response

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

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Coverage Change

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!
Read Full Story

Capitol Hill Day 2019

Hill Day 2019TOPS 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.


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