National Policy Resources—Local Advocacy Results

As cancer care professionals who experience the challenges of providing quality cancer care first-hand, VAHO 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!


Federal Advocacy 

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

The Virginia Association of Hematologists and Oncologists (VAHO) 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).

Webinars & Webcasts

Archived Webinar: CMS Final 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System & Physician Fee Schedule Rules: What You Need to Know

ACCC members were invited to join legal experts and their ACCC colleagues for a one-hour overview and discussion about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final CY 2020 OPPS and PFS rules. The webinar covered key proposals the agency has finalized under the OPPS that will affect next year’s payments for 340B hospitals, excepted off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs), as well as updates to the administration's pricing transparency and drug pricing reform efforts. A recording of this webinar, presentation slides, and rule summaries are available to ACCC members.  

ACCC members can access summaries of the final rules here. [Requires Login] Also available, a summary of selected provisions of the CY2020 Hospital Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Charges Public final rule. [Requires Login]

View On-Demand Webinar Replay (Requires Login)

ACCCBuzz Blog Posts

Advocacy In the News

COA Position Statement on Telehealth in Cancer Care Post-COVID-19

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has released a position statement on the continued use of telehealth in cancer care beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency. COA board of directors support telehealth visits "as a valuable supplement to in-person visits during the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic and continued usage when appropriate after the pandemic has subsided."

Though telehealth has been widely adopted by oncology providers and patients, COA states that as an effective substitute for some patients, it cannot be applied to all. It further states that in-person visits for cancer care should continue beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth regulations were extremely cumbersome and limiting at the state and federal levels, with poor reimbursement," COA Medical Director Mark Thompson, MD, said in a statement. "The rapid response of Federal policymakers to loosen telehealth restrictions and raise reimbursement rates were a true lifesaver for patients and practices. Community oncology practices are resilient and quickly integrated telehealth into their workflow thanks to these changes."

COA states that telehealth should not replace in-person care. It supports the "continued use of telehealth as a care tool" and will act as a  voice when "the time comes to integrate telehealth into the normal regulation structure."

Read COA's news release and position statement.

Posted 9/25/2020

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