ASCO and New Presidential Administration, Congress: Advancing Patient-Focused Cancer Policies

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The results of every Presidential election offer both challenges and opportunities for ASCO’s advocacy efforts. ASCO’s mission is to help practices and patients with cancer thrive—in every setting and in every community. Through each administration and Congress, the Society works closely with policymakers and their staff to make sure that cancer research and care remain top priorities.

As after every prior election, ASCO looks forward to helping the new administration and Congress advance policies that foster the best possible care to patients with cancer. ASCO will be closely monitoring—and weighing in on—developments in Washington, with particular focus on the following key areas:

  • Appointments to Key Federal Agencies: They include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and others that will shape both research and delivery of cancer care.
  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute Funding: This is critical for the nation to capitalize on the promise of precision medicine and accelerate cancer research progress.
  • Medicare Reimbursement: Examples include Medicare’s proposed Part B demonstration project, any changes to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) implementation, or the rollout of new payment models.
  • Affordable Care Act: This addresses how changes, including efforts to repeal or amend the law, might affect people’s access to cancer care coverage and those who—despite the existing law—remain uncovered.
  • Health Information Technology: This focuses on how policy changes might increase or decrease the burdens on physicians and interoperability or drive data-sharing among doctors, hospitals, and researchers.

As the cancer community navigates upcoming health-care changes, ASCO will advocate for policies that support robust federal funding for cancer research; incentivize high-quality, high-value care; provide stable Medicare reimbursement for the full range of care oncologists provide; and expand access to timely, quality care for people with cancer.

Stay tuned to ASCO in Action at for regular updates on the implications of policy changes on cancer care. ■

© 2016. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.