California   Oncology  Weekly
"Where California Oncologists Go For Answers!"
A collaborative publication of the
Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc.
and the
Association of Northern California Oncologists, Inc .
April 30, 2019
This Weekly's Hot Topics
  • The "CAR T-Cell" House letter will be held open for signatures until May 3rd! National News
  • 27.33% of health centers surveyed used telehealth to provide specialty care services. National News
  • The site opens May 1 to submit electronic posters for the ASH Global Capacity-Building ShowcaseAffiliate Association News

California News

In a speech, last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed that his state is "leading the nation in holding drug companies accountable and fighting prescription drug prices." Earlier this year, Gov. Newsom signed an executive order directing the state to negotiate drug prices for the roughly 13 million enrollees of Medi-Cal by 2021, and ordered his administration to study how state agencies could band together and buy prescription drugs in bulk. California is the country's largest Medicaid program that serves low-income residents. With the state buying drugs for all Medi-Cal enrollees and state entities, Newsom argues that California will leverage its purchasing power as the third-largest buyer in the country to demand lower prices from drugmakers. Eventually, Newsom envisions private purchasers - including small businesses, health plans and self-insured Californians - taking part. Newsom has said several times he hopes this collaboration can be a model for the rest of the country. The scope of what Newsom is attempting could bring down drug prices for California residents, and possibly residents in other states that join the effort. But Newsom's sweeping plan is still in its infancy with many details pending, so it's too soon to gauge success.
- MOASC & ANCO Members are invited to please join Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP) for an evening reception in honor of Assembly Member Jesse Gabriel on Thursday, May 16th from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM.  The reception will be held at Woodland Hills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (6325 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Suite 435, Woodland Hills, CA 91367).Please click here to view the invitation. We ask that you share the invitation with your members and encourage them to attend. Please RSVP to Kristina Gelabert ( Thank you for your continued support of CAPP.

Noridian News  
- Noridian/JEMAC has the following updates on their website
Open Payments: Review and Dispute Data by May 15; HHS To Deliver Value-Based Transformation in Primary Care; New Part D Opioid Overutilization Policies: Myths and Facts; Proposed Rules on Interoperability: Comment Period Extended to June 3; Quality Payment Program: MIPS 2019 Call for Measures/Activities Ends July 1; Proper Use of the KX Modifier for Part B Immunosuppressive Drug Claims.
Appeals of Claims Decisions-Revisions; New Waived Tests; NCD: Next Generation Sequencing-Revised; Implementation of eMDR for Registered Providers via the esMD System-Reissued; 2019 MIPS Group Participation
* MolDX: Inivata, InVisionFirst, Liquid Biopsy for Patients with Lung Cancer Final LCD-Effective June 3, 2019
* Implementation to Exchange the List of Enrollment in Electronic Medical Documentation Requests (eMDR) for Registered Providers via the Electronic Submission of Medical Documentation (esMD) System CR11003
* MolDX: myPath Melanoma Assay Final LCD-Effective June 3, 2019
* Annual and QMB Deductible in NMP-Reminder

Forthcoming Noridian JEMAC meetings/webinars/workshops include: 
* What's New in the Second Quarter 2019 Webinar (May 1)
* Noridian Medicare Portal Functionality for Part A and B Users Webinar (May 7)
* Noridian Medicare Portal Functionality for Part A, B and DME Users Webinar (May 7)
* Using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Webinar (May 21)
* Submitting Your Enrollment Online-Part 1 Webinar (I&A; May 29)
* Using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Webinar (June 13)
* Medicare Part A/B Revalidation Webinar (July 24)
* Submitting Your Enrollment Online-Part 2 Webinar (PECOS; June 26)
* Telehealth/Telemedicine Enrollment Only Webinar (July 10)
* Revocation, Caps and Appeals Webinar (August 7)
* Submitting Your Enrollment Online-Part 1 (I&A) Webinar (August 21)
For more information and to register, visit: http://med.noridianmedicarecom/web/jeb/education/training-events.

MOASC News  
- SAVE-THE-DATE for MOASC's Spotlight On Oncology, August 17, 2019 in Huntington Beach. Through a restricted grant from MOASC, selected oncology fellows and faculty from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), present the premier topics from their attendance at the 2019 Annual ASCO meeting. The presentations promote collegial discourse among colleagues along with networking in an informal setting.  Contact the MOASC Office for more information at
- MOASC Member, UCI Health cordially invites you to their  4th Annual UCI Health Hematology Symposium on Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 7:30am to 4:20pm. The symposium will feature regional and national experts bringing you state-of-the-art updates on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors, Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, AML, Bleeding Disorders, Transfusion Medicine and others. For more information go to To register click HERE .  The UC Irvine School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of  6.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
- MOASC Member, City of Hope CME presents: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Cancer Symposium on October 10-13, 2019 @ Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas, Nevada. This intensive program will provide participants with an enhanced ability to interpret and apply best treatment options into their individual cancer practices. For more information click HERE. To register go to:

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ANCO News  
ANCO is organizing a series of Hematologic Malignancies Updates in 2019 on May 18 in Menlo Park,  September 14 in Sacramento, and November 16 in San Francisco. These Updates are supported by AstraZeneca, Celgene, Janssen Oncology, Pharmacyclics, and Takeda Oncology. Watch for the first meeting announcement in late March; register online at
- SAVE THE DATE: ANCO's ASCO Highlights 2019 will take place on Saturday, August 17 at The Claremont Resort in Berkeley. Watch for an official announcement in June!

thesecondopinion has been serving the California cancer community for 50 years by providing free, comprehensive second opinions to cancer patients and their families. They will celebrate the anniversary with an informational and educational luncheon on Thursday, May 9, that will feature a presentation by Charles Graeber, author of The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer. For more information, visit or call (415) 775-9956.
- The new ANCO website ( is now live! ANCO physician members, their practice staff, and representatives from ANCO's corporate members must register to access password protected content at
ANCO is now on Twitter; follow @ANCO News.

National News 
The House letter will be held open for signatures until May 3rd!  Oncologists in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, IN, KY, MA, MI, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NY, OH OR, PA, TN TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY, are asked to reach out to their Members of Congress and ask them to join their bipartisan colleagues and sign the letter to Administrator Verma regarding CMS' proposed decision memo for coverage of (CAR) T-Cell Therapies. With the upcoming Congressional recess starting, time is of the essence. Cart T-Cell Therapy Letter
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out directly to George Malouly at
The ACCC's 2019 Patient Assistance & Reimbursement Guide has the most up-to-date information on cancer drug assistance and reimbursement programs to help your patients alleviate the financial burden of their treatment. This guide contains directions on program enrollment for more than 130 medications, granting eligible insured, underinsured, and uninsured patients access to oncology drugs at little or no cost.
- According to the full Uniform Data System (UDS) report, that surveyed health centers and "look-alike" centers on whether they "use telehealth in order to provide remote clinical services:"
20.83% used telehealth to provide primary care services, 
27.33% used telehealth to provide specialty care services, 
52.33% used telehealth to provide mental health services, 
24.50% used telehealth to manage patients with chronic conditions, and 
23.33% used telehealth for other services not listed.
In comparing the clinical quality measures numbers of clinics using telehealth, to those who did not, the Health Information Technology, Evaluation, and Quality Center  (HITEQ) noted that the performance of health centers who used telehealth in 2017, averaged 1.18% higher in clinical quality measures on all services they examined. While the difference was only slight, this demonstrates a positive correlation between the use of telehealth and outcomes and shows there is not a reduction in quality when telehealth is utilized, compared to in-person delivered services. For more information on this subject, review the full 2017 National Report   and visit the HITEQ Center's website to download the full report, " Analysis of UDS Clinical Quality Measure Performance by Health Center Telehealth Use ."

CMS News 
- CMS has released the FY2020 Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule. Included in the proposed rule is an increase new technology add-on payments (NTAP) from 50% of the technology to 65%. For the CAR-T NTAP, that would mean an increase from $186,500 for the cost of the product to $242,450. ASH believes these proposals are an improvement over the reimbursement currently given to hospitals that provide CAR-T therapy. Read ASH's statement on the proposed rule at
U.S. physicians have from April 1 until May 15 to review and dispute Open Payments data before it is made public on June 30. Review of the data is voluntary, but strongly encouraged to help improve the accuracy of the reported data. Learn more about Open Payments Review and Dispute here.
- There are some J-codes being issued by CMS for dates of service starting JULY 1. Roberta Buell, onPoint Oncology LLC, has provided some insight into CMS' mid-year coding update.  Click on the link to get the list. It is called, "Revised Other New Codes Published 4-5-2019, Effective 7-1-2019." Do not use them now. They are effective on or after July 1. Some of the biosimilars listed have not yet been launched and may not be available for a while.  Check with the manufacturer for availability. Bobbi is not aware of how commercial payers will handle this. She will monitor it closely and keep us updated. Any questions, E-mail me... (Bobbi).

Affiliate Association News 

- ASH and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) have sent a letter to CMS regarding the reopening of the NCD for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancer. ASH and LLS urged CMS to consider NGS-based testing for non-advanced hematologic malignancies when reopening the NCD. Read their letter at

- ASCO's new provisional clinical opinion (PCO) addresses the role of treatment de-intensification in the management of p16+ oropharyngeal cancer.  Read more at

- As part of ASCO's State of Cancer Care in America initiative, the Journal of Oncology Practice published an infographic about opioids and cancer pain, which highlights the specific needs of patients with cancer and some of the hurdles they face in trying to access prescribed opioids to manage cancer-related pain. Learn more at
- Improve your business operations with ASCO PracticeNET, ASCO's learning network focused on improving oncology practice business operations and increasing efficiency and quality of care. PracticeNET uses your existing data to allow you to gain valuable insights into the daily operations of your practice, by creating easy to read reports to compare your practice against a national database of other participants. Learn more at
The site opens May 1 to submit electronic posters for the ASH Global Capacity-Building Showcase. Hematologists working to enhance hematology capacity in low- and middle-income countries are encouraged to contribute, which will be featured at the 61st ASH Annual Meeting this December. Top-scoring presenting authors from low- and middle-income countries will receive travel stipends and free attendance at the meeting. All entries for the Global Capacity-Building Showcase must be submitted in the form of electronic posters via ASH's online submission system, and the poster submission deadline is Thursday, June 20, 2019, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. Learn more.
- Submit your research on improving the quality of cancer care by May 14. The ASCO Quality Care Symposium, September 6-7 in San Diego, encompasses the latest strategies and methods for quantification of patient experience, provider efficiency, clinical outcomes, and quality and safety in the cancer care field. The Symposium will include a variety of sessions that will cover the latest science in precision and personalized medicine. Oral abstract presentations will feature the highest-quality science submitted to the Symposium and Poster Walks will allow for networking while exploring the presentation of the newest science. This meeting will bring leaders in quality improvement science together to participate in stimulating conversation with opportunities for networking among physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and others. ASCO Quality Care Symposium.
Inland Empire Oncology Nursing Society is proud to announce the upcoming 5th Annual Education Fair for all medical professionals on May 18&19 at the Downtown Marriott in Riverside, CA. from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The Nursing Education agenda is geared toward oncology professionals - however the information is valuable in all aspects of nursing and care giving. Registration for ONS members is $55.00. Registration for NON-ONS members is $65.00. Your paid registration includes, breakfast, lunch, giveaways, parking and 5 CEU's.
Data abstraction for ASCO's QOPI Round 1 will close on June 3. Round 1 final reports will be available approximately two weeks after the round closes. Learn more at  In addition, The Doctor's Company, the nation's largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, offers up to a 10% premium discount to physicians whose practices have achieved QOPI Certification. Learn more at .
ASCO's Oncology Practice Conference takes place in San Diego on September 5. Focused on the business of cancer care, this conference will address the needs of practice administration and operations, with timely and practice strategies for the challenges faced by all those involved in the business of cancer care. Learn more and register at
Join ASH on September 6-7, 2019, at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park for the 2019 ASH Meeting on Hematologic Malignancies to gain knowledge that can help you make an immediate impact in your practice. The meeting will feature top experts in the field, comprehensive clinical content, the latest clinical research, and opportunities to interact with colleagues in an intimate, small group setting with no competing sessions. The program content will be structured as "How I Treat" presentations, which will highlight each speaker's evidence-based treatment approaches, present cutting-edge scientific data that can be translated into new strategies for diagnosis and treatment, and address what to do in cases where there is no data. For more details, or to register, please visit the ASH Website.
NCCN has published the following updates at Anal Carcinoma (V1.2019), Bladder Cancer (V3.2019), Breast Cancer Risk Reduction (V1.2019), Colon Cancer (V1.2019), Head and Neck Cancers (V1.2019), Hepatobiliary Cancer (V2.2019), Hodgkin Lymphoma (V1.2019), Kidney Cancers (V4.2019), Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (V4.2019), Occult Primary Cancer (V2.2019), Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma (V2.2019), Prostate Cancer (V2.2019), Rectal Cancer (V1.2019), Smoking Cessation (V1.2019).

Industry News
- Seattle Genetics will host an educational program entitled Frontline Advancements: Clinical Data Overview of Echelon-1 and Echelon-2 on May 1 at 6:30PM at A16, 5356 College Avenue, Oakland. RSVP via e-mail to
- Stemline Therapeutics, Inc. informed MOASC and ANCO of their approval and subsequent commercial availability of ELZONRISTM (tagraxofusp-erzs; SL-401) for patients with blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN). For prescribing information on ELZONRISTM click HERE.


In This Issue


Spotlight On Oncology
August 17, 2019

American Initiative in Mast Cell Disease (AIM; Stanford, San Mateo, May 4-5)
 5th World Congress on Controversies in Breast Cancer (CoBrCa): When is Less More? 
(Use code cobrca10 for ANCO Member Discount;
San Francisco, September 4-6) 
(NCCN, San Francisco, September 27-28) 
8th International Cancer Metastatis Congress
(San Francisco, October 25-27) 
Supportive Care in Oncology
(ASCO, San Francisco, October 25-26) 
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  Association of Northern California Oncologists (ANCO) is an association of hematologists/oncologists dedicated to promoting high professional standards of cancer care by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, data, and knowledge. The material contained in the California Oncology Weekly is intended as general information for ANCO and 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 or ANCO accepts no liability for any statements or articles herein. CPT codes are owned and trademarked by the American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved.



MOASC: P.O. Box 161, Upland, CA 91785 | P (909) 985-9061 | F (909) 804-5006|

ANCO: P.O. Box 151109, San Rafael, CA 94915 |  P (415) 472-3960 | F (415) 472-3961 |