At the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual House of Delegates meeting, delegates approved four resolutions submitted by ASCO, demonstrating the entire medical community’s commitment to key cancer care priorities. These resolutions have been incorporated into the AMA’s policy system and will help guide the organization’s decision-making and action on these issues in the future. Highlights from the AMA House of Delegates meeting include:
Medicare Part B Demonstration: The House of Delegates adopted ASCO’s resolution, which asks the AMA to oppose the Part B Model and work with Congress to block the demonstration from moving forward. The strong support for this resolution shows Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that the full medical community is opposed to this flawed experiment.
United States Pharmacopeial Convention’s (USP) 800: ASCO’s resolution directing the AMA to advocate against relevant sections of USP General Chapter 800 was unopposed and passed without amendment.
Clinical Pathways: The ASCO-submitted resolution was approved by the AMA House of Delegates with several amendments. The final policy requires that the AMA support the development of transparent, collaboratively constructed clinical pathways. Concerned that these changes may lead to confusion, ASCO will work with the AMA to refine the amended language to further differentiate between guidelines and clinical pathways.
MACRA and High Cost Drugs: The House of Delegates approved ASCO’s resolution on MACRA and High Cost Drugs in Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or an Alternative Payment Model (APM) with a few minor amendments. The approved resolution directs the AMA to work with Congress and CMS to exempt all Medicare Part B and Part D drug costs from resource use measurement mechanisms, including MIPS and APMs.
In other activities at the AMA Annual Meeting, Robin Zon, MD, Chair of the ASCO Government Relations Committee, led a panel discussion on preparing for a future with alternative payment models. Dr. Zon spoke about ASCO’s Patient-Centered Oncology Payment (PCOP) model, describing its three options that transition away from the traditional fee-for-service payment system, while improving the quality of care for cancer patients and reducing costs.
ASCO member Barbara McAneny, MD, FASCO, announced her candidacy for AMA President during the meeting. ASCO supports her year-long candidacy leading up to the June 2017 AMA election. ■
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