California Oncology Weekly

"Where California Oncologists Go For Answers!"

A publication of the
Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc.
March 24, 2020
We pray you and your family are doing well in these difficult times.
Please stay home.
This  Weekly 's Hot Topics

  • Emergency Warning Signs for COVID-19 in adults

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion or inability to arouse
Bluish lips or face
  • If you are experiencing any of these symptoms
Self-isolate until 72 hours after freedom of symptoms.
CALL AHEAD to talk to a doctor.
Follow doctor's instructions

California News

  - Information on what the State is doing to address the COVID-19 epidemic and the resources available for you from the Governor's office can be found at
On March 16, the California State Legislature passed a $1.1 billion dollar Budget package to bolster the State's response to both medical needs of people with the virus and help implement drastic mitigation efforts necessary to deal with the pandemic.
- Governor Newsom issued an executive order for all Californians to stay at home. The order states that individuals working in "Critical Infrastructure Sectors" as defined by the federal government may continue work. Further, all dine-in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings, and convention centers shall be closed. 
The following services will remain open:
Gas stations
Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks,
convenience stores,
takeout and delivery restaurants
Laundromat/laundry service
Yes, you may leave your home for limited reasons like exercise or to purchase essential supplies or if you work in one of these sectors or as a part of Critical Infrastructure. But largely, please stay home.

California continues to issue updates on COVID-19 including the latest mitigation efforts, facts about the virus, and guidance documents on the California Department of Public Health website.
- State resources are available for employees and businesses impacted by COVID-19:
It is vital that everyone follow the directives of our public health agencies in order to protect our families, friends and neighbors. When everybody takes the proper action, resources will be available to those who need it. We will slow the virus, and together, we will overcome this hardship.

Noridian News 

-   Recent Announcements Published to "Latest Updates" of Medicare Jurisdiction E Part B.
A message from Noridian on COVID-19 and business continuity shares  Noridian's process as organized, controlled, and phased to provide for continuity of business operations and the safety of Noridian employees. Read the complete update
  • Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage Webinar - April 23, 2020. This event includes: Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN) Overview, ABN Completion, ABN Tips, Noteworthy Information, and Resources Read the complete update
  • Provider Enrollment Relief Related to COVID-19. In order to support our provider community, we are establishing a Provider Enrollment hotline to help with emergency provider enrollment into Medicare. This is intended for providers or organizations that are in emergency situations that need to be enrolled quickly due to the Coronavirus. Read the complete update
  • Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Revised SE20011. The Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services declared a public health emergency (PHE) in the entire United States on January 31, 2020. Read the complete update
  • New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Get It, Use It - Revised SE18006
    Use MBIs for all Medicare transactions. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) replaced the Social Security Number (SSN)-based Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) with the MBI and mailed new Medicare cards to all Medicare beneficiaries. Read the complete update
  • Portal, IVR and Customer Service Limited Availability - April 3-5, 2020. There will be Common Working File (CWF) "Dark" days on Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5, 2020 for all CWF hosts. Read the complete update
  • ASP Medicare Part B Drug Pricing Files and Revisions to Prior Quarterly Pricing Files - April 2020 CR11701. CR 11701 informs MACs about new and revised Average Sales Price (ASP) and ASP Not Otherwise Classified (NOC) drug pricing files for Medicare Part B drugs. Read the complete update
  • MolDX: Decipher Biopsy Prostate Cancer Classifier Assay for Men with Intermediate Risk Disease Final LCD - Effective May 04, 2020 
    This Local Coverage Determination (LCD) has completed the Open Public Meeting and Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) comment period and is now finalized under contractor numbers: 01112 (NCA), 01182 (SCA), 01212 (AS, GU, HI, NMI), and 01312 (NV). Responses to comments received may be found as a link at the bottom of the final LCD. 
    Read the complete update
  • Quarterly Medicare Updates - A/B Webinar - April 7, 2020
    This event includes: CMS Updates, Noridian Updates, April 2020 Quarterly Provider Updates, Payment and Recurring Updates, Special Editions (SE), Resources, Educational Information 
    Read the complete update
  • Quarterly Medicare Updates - A/B - After Hours Webinar - April 14, 2020 
    This event includes: CMS Updates, Noridian Updates, April 2020 Quarterly Provider Updates, Payment and Recurring Updates, Special Editions (SE), Resources, Educational Information 
    Read the complete update
  • CLFS and Laboratory Services Subject to Reasonable Charge Payment - Quarterly Update CR11681. CR 11681 informs MACs about the changes in the April 2020 quarterly update to the Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS). Read the complete update
  • Reminder: There is Still Time to Evaluate Our Services 
    There is still time to share your opinions about the services we provide. Please complete the MAC Satisfaction Indicator (MSI) survey. 
- Last week we informed the readers of the California Oncology Weekly, that the HHS Secretary declared a public health emergency, allowing CMS programmatic waivers based on Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. These waivers prevent gaps in access to care for beneficiaries impacted by the emergency. CMS has approved California, and 12 other states', Medicaid waiver requests under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act (Act). The waivers were approved within days of states' submitting them, and offer states new flexibilities to focus their resources on combatting the outbreak and providing the best possible care to Medicaid beneficiaries in their states. These waivers provide relief on a number of fronts, such as prior authorization and provider enrollment requirements and facilitating reimbursement to providers for care delivered in alternative settings due to facility evacuations.  Read the complete update

MOASC News  

- As the Staff of MOASC work virtually, the MOASC office remains open during this time of quarantine for member support, as always. Contact us at  or 909-985-9061.
MOASC continues to monitor all available information regarding the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The health and well-being of MOASC members and the patients that you serve are of utmost importance. Keep reading the California Oncology Weekly for up-to-date information.

-The MOASC Oncology Summit Annual Symposium virtual presentations are available for viewing at The first presentation is "Multi-Modality Management of Melanoma in the era of Immunotherapy", presented by Dr. Omid Hamid, The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, A Cedars-Sinai Affiliate.

- MOASC wants to thank you for all that you do every day to keep us, our families, our friends, and our communities healthy and safe. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, MOASC is in receipt of a compilation of inquiries from medical practice community about updating and communicating protocols for life science reps and vendors. The protocol changes that different practices have made, as well as their plans to continue receiving critical education and resources from their local reps and life science companies, are many. The following insights and resources may be helpful to your practice at this time. If you have any questions or need any help communicating with your reps, MOASC here to help.
Here is a sample policy/protocol that a large health system sent out to all of their reps through RxVantage. Feel free to use it or customize it as you see fit.
In communities with a large presence of COVID-19, many practices are temporarily suspending on-site appointments with reps (most for 4-6 weeks).
Practices that rely on reps for samples are developing new protocols to ensure their supply isn't disrupted. They are designating very specific times and appointments for sample drops and new locations where they will be signed for, depending on their physical office space (examples: side door, separate room, parking lot; sample drop appointments on Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 - 4:00pm).
Many practices are setting up phone or web meetings with specific reps (nurse educators, reimbursement specialists, MSLs), so they can continue to educate and help the right people in the practice.
Practices are communicating updated processes and protocols by mass-messaging all of their reps. Knowing that all reps receive their updates, give these practices the confidence that reps know how to act in their practice or not come in at all.
Some large medical groups and systems are rolling out these new protocols across all of their practice locations to ensure consistency of communication and enforcement of their policies.
Some major life science companies have instructed their reps to stay home for the foreseeable future.
Further resources for medical practice managers:
CDC Interim Guidance for Healthcare Facilities in the U.S.: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s reference center for the most updated information and interim guidelines on COVID-19.
Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard monitoring reported COVID-19 cases across the world. This dashboard drills down into the number of confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries, and active cases by region.
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) COVID-19 action center: A collection of critical information, links, and updates specifically targeted to practice managers and operations professionals.
ECRI Institute Coronavirus Outbreak Preparedness Center: An open-source guide providing checklists, equipment evaluations, equipment supplier lists, and more as practices develop new protocols and guidelines.
While the CDC recently announced a new code effective October 1, 2020, interim measures are needed given the pace of the pandemic.
Contact for further questions or for coding advice.

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The  Association of Northern California Oncologists  (ANCO)  is monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and is committed to providing the membership the best possible information with which to make clinical and personal well-being decisions. Information is provided about:
The ANCO Office & ANCO Activities
General Coronavirus Information
Cancer Patient and Clinical Oncology Resources
Clinical Trials
Practice Management Resources
Personal & Family Well-Bering (for Adults, Parents, and Educational) Resources
We encourage member practices to let ANCO know of COVID-19 resources they are depending upon and found useful and how they are responding to COVID-19 and serving their patients and staff at (Use Subject: COVID-19: RESPONSE). Thanks!
Applications now being accepted for ANCO's Travel Awards to Fellows and Young Clinicians  to support attendance at the ASCO Annual Meeting, ASH Annual Meeting, or other national oncology meeting in 2020. The deadline for submission is March 31. Awards will be announced by April 30.  Learn more at
-   20th Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers: A Case-based Approach  taking place in Napa on June 19-21. For the more information on the impact of COVID-19 on this meeting go to

-   REGISTER for Hematologic Malignancies Updates, the first of three is taking place on Saturday, May 16 at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel. 
-  ANCO physician members, their practice staff, and representatives from ANCO's corporate members must register to access password-protected content (e.g., The ANCO Directory, ANCO meeting materials) on the ANCO website
-  Use ANCO's  job board to post or search for employment opportunities at ANCO member practices.
-  Follow ANCO on Twitter at @ANCO News.

National News
- Tomorrow & Friday! The CDC Clinician Outreach & Communication Activity (COCA) is presenting two upcoming calls - Updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The first is, COVID-19 Update: Optimization Strategies for Healthcare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). During this COCA Call, presenters will provide a COVID-19 update and discuss strategies for healthcare facilities to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies such as eye protection, isolation gowns, facemasks, and N95 respirators. Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 11:00am-12:00pm (PT). If joining through Zoom, please click the link below to join the webinar: Webinar ID: 160 558 6706.
Underlying Medical Conditions and People at Higher Risk for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) . During this COCA call, presenters will focus on current information about people who are higher risk for COVID-19 complications because of their age or underlying medical conditions, particularly those that are not well-controlled. Friday, March 27, 2020,
11:00am-12:00pm (PT).
During COCA Calls/Webinars, subject matter experts present key emergency preparedness and response topics, followed by meaningful Q&A with participants. Each COCA Call/Webinar will offer the most up to date information and guidance for clinicians. 
Due to the high demand anticipated for these COCA Calls, you are encouraged to consider viewing them on Facebook Live. There will only be a few slides for these COCA Calls. Slides will not advance during the presentations. The slides for both calls are available under the "Call Materials" tab on the COCA Call webpage. Advanced registration is not required.
If you are unable to attend the live COCA Calls, they will be available for viewing on the COCA Call webpage a few hours after each live event ends. They will be available for viewing immediately after each live event ends at 12:00pm. PT on COCA's Facebook page.
Continuing Education will not be offered for these COCA Calls. 
For information about this update or other clinical issues, or to send your feedback, please contact us at

CMS News
  - On Sunday, CMS said it is easing reporting requirements for the 1.2 million clinicians in the Quality Payment Program and for other reporting programs in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Organizations participating in quality payment programs had expressed concern over accountability penalties and the potential of not receiving shared savings this performance year because of the novel coronavirus . "In granting these exceptions and extensions, CMS is supporting clinicians fighting Coronavirus on the front lines," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a press release. "The Trump Administration is cutting bureaucratic red tape so the healthcare delivery system can direct its time and resources toward caring for patients." CMS eliminated much of the need for reporting in the first six months of 2020. For the Merit-based Incentive Payment System, eligible clinicians who have not submitted any MIPS data by April 30, 2020 will receive a neutral payment adjustment for the 2021 MIPS payment year, according to the press release. Programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020 will be given exemptions based on the facility's choice to report.

Affiliate Association News

- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) Coronavirus (COVID-19) Practice Resources and Protocols page houses information from government entities, private practices, and other health authorities for ease of use. Resources are available on clinical procedure, billing guidance, public information campaigns, and more.  Access the COVID-19 Resource page at
The COVID-19 Resource page is updated daily as COA receives new information and resources to help practices handle this national emergency. If you have any resources or news to share, please send them to
- Take action and stay informed about the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Simple measures can protect you and your community. It's also important to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 and know when to seek help. To learn more, read the full article.
- You should STILL register for the 2020 COA VIRTUAL Conference: Focusing On The Future Together, on April 23-24. Though the face-to-face conference in Orlando is cancelled, COA will proceed with a virtual Conference. COA Conferences help community oncology physicians, pharmacy leaders and business representatives connect the dots across specialties, with a special focus on what is relevant for independent community oncology practices. When practices come together to discuss the important initiatives on a national stage, it drives progress in a way that is truly beneficial to patients. Learn more and register at .
- ASH is accepting nominations through May 31 for the 2020 ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute taking place September 22-23, in Washington, DC. This two-day workshop provides an opportunity for ASH members (who are U.S. citizens) with an interest in health policy and advocacy and a desire to become involved in ASH advocacy activities, to gain a better understanding of the Society and learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology research and practice. Self-nominations are welcome, and individuals may nominate more than one colleague. For more information and to submit a nomination, visit the ASH website.

- National Cancer Survivors Day┬« is Sunday, June 7, 2020. Get a jumpstart on planning your NCSD 2020 event by registering it (free of charge) with the  National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation at Visit their website at To assist you, NCSD national supporter Coping with Cancer┬« magazine has put together a list of resources specifically for cancer survivors and caregivers .   Coronavirus and Cancer: A list of resources for cancer survivors.

- Cedars-Sinai 3rd Annual Gastrointestinal Tumor Conference is on Saturday, September 12, 2020. Concise and comprehensive updates on the most recent research and advances in immunotherapy for gastrointestinal cancers, will be presented. A stellar faculty has been assembled to share developments in precision medicine, research, and immunotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancers of the pancreas, liver, and gastric/esophagus. For more information and to register go to:
- NCCN has published updated guidelines at


Industry News

- Pfizer, as a leader in medical research and vaccines has a five-point plan to help scientists combat COVID-19 including a commitment to collaborate with other companies and an offer to share expertise, insights, tools, and even manufacturing capacity against this virus. For more information click  here

In This Issue


(Davis, New Dates: 
March 11-12, 2021) 

The  Medical Oncology Association of Southern California  (MOASC) is a leading oncology society that advances and protects the ability of cancer patients to obtain, and the ability of the oncology physicians to provide, optimal cancer care. 
The material contained in the California Oncology Weekly is intended as general information for MOASC members. Because diagnostic, treatment, contracting, coding, and billing decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, any such information contained in the California Oncology Weekly may not apply in any given situation. Members are encouraged to contact their own consultants or advisors to obtain specific advice on matters relating to contracting, coding, and billing. The information contained in California Oncology Weekly should not be used as a substitute for such advice. This publication provides a summary of regulations affecting oncology and its business practices. Reading this newsletter does not substitute for understanding regulations and verifying the validity of every claim. This information is time-sensitive and is subject to change. MOASC accepts no liability for any statements or articles herein.  CPT codes are owned and trademarked by the American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved.



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