Every two weeks we deliver the Health Policy Report that contains the latest updates and news concerning the movement of important legislation that affects the delivery of community based cancer care. Please visit LegisLink for timely and relevant information on legislative and regulatory developments on Capitol Hill.



Health Policy Report - April 16, 2014
  • CMS Announces Release of Physician Payment Information
  • Narrow Insurance Networks Could Threaten Patient Access to Specialized Cancer Care Centers
  • HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Steps Down
  • House Passes Ryan Budget Resolution; Action Not Likely in Senate
  • CBO Releases Updated Budget Projections for SGR Patch

Health Policy Report - April 1, 2014
  • The US Oncology Network Joins Community Oncology Alliance in Urging Congressional Leaders to Address Cancer Care Crisis
  • Congress Moves to Avert Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
  • New Analysis Shows Many 340B Hospitals Provide Minimal Charity Care
  • Obamacare Open Enrollment Period Closes

Health Policy Report - March 20, 2014
  • House Passes SGR Repeal with Delay of ACA Individual Mandate
  • Coalition for Patient Centered Imaging Urges Congress to Preserve Patient Access to Integrated Care
  • New Report Finds Overall Cancer Cases on the Rise
  • HHS Updates HIPAA Regulations
  • Colon Cancer Rates Drop by 30 Percent

Health Policy Report - March 6, 2014
  • Virginia Cancer Specialists Featured in Fox New Special Report
  • Op-Ed Highlights Importance of Rational Payments for Cancer Care
  • President Obama Releases 2015 Budget Proposal
  • CBO Releases Score for SGR Bill
  • Quality Data Added to CMS’ Physician Compare Website
  • World Health Organization: Cancer Cases on the Rise

Health Policy Report - February 20, 2014
  • The US Oncology Network’s Dr. Barry Brooks Calls for Equalization of Medicare Payments in The Hill
  • OIG Releases Report on 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Congress Votes to Extend Sequestration
  • Lancet Oncology Paper Calls on Oncology Community to Recognize Costs, Limitations of Cancer Treatments
  • Insurance Exchange Enrollment Climbs to 3.3 Million
  • CBO Report Finds Slower Medicare Spending Growth

Health Policy Report - February 6, 2014
  • Lawmakers Reach SGR Deal with Five Years of 0.5 Percent Payment Hikes
  • President Obama Delivers State of the Union Address
  • Congressman Henry Waxman Announces Retirement
  • CMS Report Finds ACOs Are Lowering Spending Growth
  • CMMI Technical Expert Panel for Oncology Examines Alternative Payment Models
  • COA and ASCO Release Principles for Payment System Reform

Health Policy Report - January 23, 2014
  • MedPAC Recommends Aligning Payments Across Care Settings
  • CMS Announces Release of Physician Payment Data
  • Congress Approves $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill
  • New Study: IMRT Improved Survival Rates in Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Health Policy Report - January 7, 2014
  • Congress Returns to Washington; Budget Deal Needed Before January 16 Deadline
  • Senate Finance and Ways and Means Committees Mark Up Permanent SGR Replacement Bill
  • Obamacare Enrollment Swells in December
  • New Obama Administration Report Claims Slow Healthcare Spending Growth
  • Final USPSTF Screening Recommendations for Lung Cancer Released

Health Policy Report - December 4, 2013
  • CMS Releases Final Rule for 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
  • Congressman Urges CMS to Eliminate Medicare Payment Differences Across Care Settings
  • Budget Panel Blows First Deadline; Small-Scale Budget Deal Still in Reach
  • Congresswoman Calls on Budget Chairs to Stop Sequester Cuts to Cancer Drugs
  • Looming SGR Pay Cut Now at 20%; Physicians Call for Repeal

Health Policy Report - November 15, 2013
  • As Congress Winds Down to the End of the Year, The Network Needs to Stay Engaged
  • Bipartisan Proposal From House, Senate Would Repeal SGR
  • ACA Drama from Exchanges to Keeping Insurance Plans, the Administration Institutes Changes
  • Budget Conferees Divided a Month Before Reporting Deadline; CBO Chief Calls for Short Term Fix

Health Policy Report - October 25, 2013
  • 114 Members of Congress Send Bipartisan Letter to CMS Opposing Cuts for Community Cancer Care
  • President Signs Bill to End Shutdown, Raise Debt Limit
  • In New Budget Talks, Changes to Medicare May Take Center Stage
  • CBO to Score Senate SGR Bill as Lawmakers Consider Timing During Upcoming Budget Talks
  • NEJM Article Analyzes Urology Practices Use of IMRT

Health Policy Report - October 11, 2013
  • CMS Proposal Would Further Widen the Payment Differential in Outpatient Cancer Care
  • Deal on Budget Impasse Comes into Focus as Debt Ceiling Deadline Looms
  • ACA Health Exchange Websites Experience Glitches During Roll-Out
  • Take 10 Minutes to Register for PQRS Administrative Claims Option by October 15 to Prevent 1.5% Penalty in 2015

Health Policy Report - September 27, 2013
  • Congress Moves to the Brink of Government Shutdown as Lawmakers Vote to Defund Health Care Law
  • CBO Report: Medicare SGR Repeal Bill Will Cost $175 billion
  • House GOP Floats Debt-Limit Options That Include Medicare Cuts, ACA Delay

Health Policy Report - September 12, 2013
  • Dr. Barry Brooks Op-Ed on Impact of Proposed Medicare Part B Payment Changes
  • The US Oncology Network Submits Comments to CMS on Proposed Rule for 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
  • New Study Shows Alarming Cost Differentials in Outpatient Chemotherapy
  • US Cancer Care in Crisis According to Experts
  • New Study Finds Younger Women Benefit From Mammograms

Health Policy Report - August 26, 2013
  • Medical Groups Oppose Limitation of Stark Law In-Office Ancillary Services Exception
  • Changes Included in E&C's 'DocFix' Could Hike Score, Complicate W&M's Work
  • AMA Blasts New Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Defends RUC
  • Health Policy Researchers Warn Proposals to Coordinate Care May Harm Competition in Health Market

Health Policy Report - August 2, 2013
  • Congress Introduces Payment Parity for Outpatient Oncology Services
  • House Energy & Commerce Approves SGR Repeal Bill
  • GAO Issues Report Citing Increase in Self-Referrals for Prostrate Cancer Treatment
  • WSJ OP-ED Slams 340B Program, Citing Increased Costs & Negative Impact on Patients
  • MGMA Seeks Immediate Reversal Of CMS' Decision Not To Test ICD-10 With Providers
  • Electronic Health Record Incentive Program tops $15.5B in meaningful use payments, Stakeholders Debate Over Call for Delay

Health Policy Report - July 17, 2013
  • CMS Releases Proposed Rule for 2014 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
  • House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee To Hold SGR Markup, CMS Official Rebukes House GOP Plan to Circumvent CMS
  • Survey Finds Healthcare Providers Uncertain About Meeting ICD-10 Transition Deadline
  • Proposed Rule, Guidance Lay Out FDA Enforcement Plan For Drug Supply Chain
  • Senate Approps Bill Boosts Research Funds
  • CMS Announces Mixed Results on ACOs

Health Policy Report - July 3, 2013
  • Dr. Barry Brooks Testifies in Hearing on Medicare Part B Drugs
  • Congress Sends Follow-Up Letter to CMS on Sequestration Cuts to Part B Drugs
  • Lawmakers Offer SGR Alternative, Emphasize Quality Measurements
  • Several Pioneer ACOs Consider Leaving Medicare Program

Health Policy Report - June 20, 2013
  • New MedPAC Report Maps Out Site Neutral Medicare Payments
  • CMS Releases Final Decision on FDG-PET
  • Delayed Debt Ceiling Could Hurt Prospects Of SGR Fix
  • Study Details Patients' Financial Burden from Unexpected Out-of-Network Costs

Health Policy Report - June 7, 2013
  • CMS Responds to Inquiry from 124 Lawmakers on Impact of Sequester
  • New Study Shows Alarming Shift in Outpatient Chemotherapy
  • GAO Recommends National Standards For Advanced Diagnostic Imaging
  • Survey Implies Drug Shortages Endanger Cancer Patient Care
  • Lawmakers Mull SGR Options, House Panels Work on Separate Bills
  • CMS Launches Round Two of Health Care Innovation Awards

Health Policy Report - May 24, 2013
  • Community Oncology Supports the Bipartisan "Preserve Community Care Cancer Act"
  • NJ Congressmen Seek Member Support Against Cuts to Medicare Part B
  • CBO Says President's FY 2014 Budget Would Cut Medicare Spending $364 Billion
  • House Votes Again to Repeal Health Law, GOP Attacks IRS Control of Individual Mandate
  • Tavenner First Confirmed CMS Administrator Since 2006, Eyes Significant Changes
  • SGR hopes face tough realities | $139 billion, new payment formula still needed

Health Policy Report - May 9, 2013
  • ACT NOW to Reverse the Cuts to Cancer Care Drugs!
  • Coalition Sends Letter Rejecting Proposal to Restrict Imaging and Radiation Therapy
  • Harkin lifts hold on Tavenner Nomination to Head CMS
  • Ways and Means Holds Hearing on SGR Repeal
  • Senate Considers Stricter Oversight of Compounding Pharmacies
  • Brookings' Recommends New Medicare Reimbursement and Care System

Health Policy Report - April 26, 2013
  • Community Oncologists Praise 124 Lawmakers Urging CMS to Examine Impact of Sequester Cuts on Medicare Patients
  • Encourage Support for Legislation that Reverses Sequestration Cuts to Medicare Part B Drugs
  • Senate Finance Chair Baucus To Retire
  • Cost Consequences of the 340B Drug Discount Program
  • Senate Finance Panel Approves Tavenner to head CMS
  • 19 Senators Introduce Legislation To Lower Prices For Prescription Drugs
  • Hospitals Reject Study Showing They Profit From Surgical Mistakes

Health Policy Report - April 12, 2013
  • Impact of Sequestration on Community Cancer Care Receives National Media Coverage
  • Major Cuts to PET Coverage for Cancer Treatment Proposed by CMS
  • Community Oncologists React with Disappointment as President sends 2014 Budget Blueprint to Congress
  • House GOP releases revised proposal for replacing SGR
  • CMS Director Nominee Marilyn Tavenner Sails through Confirmation Hearing
  • Senate Inquiry Finds Abuse of Discount Drug Program at Three North Carolina Hospitals

Health Policy Report - March 21, 2013
  • Contact Your Members of Congress regarding the 2% Medicare Sequestration Cuts beginning April 1st
  • Federal Budget Update
  • MedPAC Report Released
  • CMS Drops Coverage Ban on PET Tracers Leaving Decision to Local MACs
  • ICD-10 Implementation Guides Released
  • My Care PlusSM Patient Portal Reaches Milestone
  • CMS Proposes Changes to Oncologic Imaging

Health Policy Report - March 8, 2013
  • Your Voice Needed: Contact Congress About Effects of Sequestration
  • Sequestration Goes into Effect March 1, Affects Medicare Claims Beginning April 1
  • Key Lawmaker on House Committee Highlights "Site Neutral" Payments
  • iKnowMed EHR Earns Practices $12 Million in Incentives Under Meaningful Use
  • National Commission Encourages Reforming Physician Payment Methods
  • "Choosing Wisely" Campaign Details 5 Cancer Tests & Treatments to Question
  • Patient Groups Oppose Medicare Part B Cuts in Letter to Congress

Health Policy Report - February 20, 2013
  • “Prompt Pay Discount” Legislation Reintroduced in House
  • Quality Cancer Care Delivery the Focus of JNCCN Commentary Article
  • Cuts Loom as Sequestration Deadline Approaches
  • Stakeholders Release White Paper, Recommendations on Future of 340B Program

Health Policy Report - February 7, 2013
  • SGR Discussions Ramp Up on the Hill
  • Senator Orrin Hatch Outlines Bipartisan Entitlement Reform Proposal
  • Final "Sunshine Act” Rule Issued
  • CMS Officials Tout Bundling Initiative Participation

Health Policy Report - January 23, 2013
  • Presidential Inaugural Address Sets Tone for Policy Agenda, Defends Medicare & Medicaid
  • Provision Within Taxpayer Relief Act May Help to Satisfy Oncology Quality Reporting Requirement
  • Congress Presses On with Debt Ceiling and Budget Negotiations
  • Declining Cancer Death Rate in U.S. Tied to Medical Imaging
  • McKesson's iKnowMed Named Top EHR for Hematologists and Oncologists

Health Policy Report - January 8, 2013
  • Congress Averts the Fiscal Cliff & Fixes Medicare Physician Payment Cuts
  • The US Oncology Network Offers Payment Policy Recommendations in Community News Article
  • CMS Issues Proposed Decision for Positron Emission Tomography




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    Health Policy Report - April 16, 2014




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