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.
March 7, 2017
California News 

Please find below a link to a letter, and some social media content, to oppose AB 265 (Wood) which would ban copay assistance for patients. This letter, which MOASC has signed, was delivered last week to members of the Assembly Health Committee and committee staff. An active campaign is underway to reach out to additional groups to oppose the bill. Updated letters will be sent to legislators to show growing opposition. Please share your organization's opposition to AB 265 with patients and on your social channels.  Please feel free to modify the letter for you to personalize as you see fit. 
FOR Patient orgs
Stop the ban of RX copay assistance programs for patients. #NoOnAB265
Patients rely on RX copay assist programs to help pay high OOP costs for meds. #StopAB265
Why WOOD someone ban RX assistance programs to help patients #Access needed meds? #NoOnAB265
FOR Patients
I rely on Rx copay assist programs to pay for my needed meds. Stop the ban 
Help protect RX copay assistance programs that help ppl like me #access my meds #StopAB265
Banning RX copay assistance programs that help people like me!  I don't get it?? NoOnAB265
FOR Physicians
My patients rely on copay assistance programs to pay for high OOP costs for needed meds. #StopAB265
Thank you for all your help to stop AB 265. Please feel free to contact the MOASC office at if you have any questions.  AB 265 Oppose.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Los Angeles, the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology is presenting, California End of Life Option Act: Hoping for the Best, Planning for the Worst and Knowing Your Options. The California End of Life Option Act is a law that went into effect in June of 2016. This new law allows some patients with terminal diagnosis to receive an aid-in-dying prescription from their physician much like in other states such as Oregon and Washington. In these states, 70-80% of patients who select this option at end of life have cancer. The March 14th lecture will also be available via live-streaming from your computer. In this seminar, the law will be presented, along with what is known about its implementation to date, and considerations for patients and families facing this choice. For more information about this lecture, as well others in the series (including an on-line archive of previous presentations) click here.  To access the lecture on March 14th via live-streaming, click here.
The California Dialogue on Cancer is pleased to announce the American Cancer Society's upcoming 80% by 2018 California Colorectal Cancer Roundtable events in Sunnyvale on March 21st and Los Angeles on March 22nd.  The featured speaker for the Roundtables will be Richard Wender, MD, Chief Cancer Control Officer of the American Cancer Society.  These events will be an opportunity to connect with different groups (community clinics, health plans, companies, hospitals, and community members) who are working toward our collective goal of 80% nationwide screening for adults aged 50+ by 2018.  Participation is free.  Please register by March 10th.  For more information, click on the following links.
The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange invites you to attend: Primary Care and Oncology: Practical Lessons, An Advanced Practice Clinician (Mid-Level) Symposium. This one-day event will be held on April 27th, in Southern California. Pre-registration is required, as seating is limited. CEU's/CME's will be provided. Breakfast and lunch will be included. For more information on the symposium, see the flyer below, or click here to register.

Noridian News
- Noridian/JEMAC has posted the following updates to its   website
* MLN Connects Provider News
Claims, Pricers, and Codes--
Publications--Transitional Care Management Services Fact Sheet-Revised; HIPAA Basics for Providers: Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules Fact Sheet-Reminder; PECOS Technical Assistance Contact Information Fact Sheet-Reminder
* Radiopharmaceutical Fee Schedule 2016 Addition 
* Radiopharmaceutical Fee Schedule 2016 Updates-Revised
* Updates to the Medicare Claims Processing Manual CR9906
* Healthcare Provider Taxonomy Codes (HPTCs) April 2017 Code Set Update CR9869
* RARC, CARC, MREP, and PC Print Update CR9878
Forthcoming Noridian/JEMAC webinars 
* DMEPOS Documentation Requirements (March 8)
* Screening Services Webinar (March 9)
* Reopenings Webinar (March 28)

Noridian Medicare Portal Functionality Webinar for Part B Providers - March 23, 2017 
The Noridian Provider Outreach and Education (POE) staff is hosting a Noridian Medicare Portal Functionality for Part B Providers webinar on March 23, 2017 at Noon Pacific Time. 
Read the complete update.

  DHCS/Medi-Cal News 
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Medi-Cal Benefits Division, Cancer Detection and Treatment Branch (CDTB), is soliciting input from interested parties regarding the Prostate Cancer Treatment Program (PCTP). This is not a solicitation for proposals. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to elicit information for consideration regarding the future direction of the PCTP. DHCS may issue a future Request for Proposal (RFP) and use information from the RFI responses in its development. Responses to the RFI must be submitted by March 15, 2017.  For more information, including instructions for responding to the RFI, the document can be downloaded here:

  MOASC News
DON'T MISS THIS SATURDAY'S  2017 MOASC Oncology Summit, on, March 11, 2017. Nationally known, and regionally based, key-opinion leaders to assess your tools for thriving in an era of Personalized Medicine!  There's an Oncology Revolution going on: Are your treatment choices still relevant in the era of Immuno-oncology and Molecularly-targeted therapies?  We will discuss how to use the new tools of "Personalized Medicine" to guide treatment choices for Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer and Multiple Myeloma. This will be a practically-oriented, clinically relevant discussion and you will leave with new insights into your own practice patterns and how to make sure you are embracing the future today! For complete information on this superb program, please contact the MOASC Office at 800-310-3553 x 1 or
The City of Hope conference, How the Experts Treat Hematologic Malignancies, will be March 16 - 18, 2017 at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas. City of Hope experts will provide the conferee with the most recent advances in bone marrow transplant, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and leukemia. Updates on improved curative and palliative treatments and evolving molecular and immunologically-based system therapies, as well as important, completed or ongoing clinical trials, will be profiled and discussed. This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Please register at one of the following: 626-218-5622 or
The 2nd Annual UC Irvine Health Hematology Symposium, presented by the Department of Pathology and the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, will take place on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, Anaheim, CA.
Topics will include: * Molecular diagnostics in selected disorders; * Myelodysplastic syndrome;
* Primer on flow cytometry for the general practitioner; * Venous thromboembolism;* Approach to the evaluation of anemia;* Selected vector-borne diseases;* Lupus anticoagulant and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.  For registration or more information please contact Dannielle Lampkin at or 714-456-8621 or visit the Hematology Symposium registration website,

-The Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange invites you to attend: Primary Care and Oncology: Practical Lessons, An Advanced Practice Clinician (Mid-Level) Symposium. This one-day event will be held on April 27th, in Southern California. Pre-registration is required, as seating is limited. CEU's/CME's will be provided. Breakfast and lunch will be included. For more information on the symposium, see the flyer below, or click here to register.

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  -   ANCO is pleased to announce the 17th Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers: A Case-based Approach on March 17-19, 2017  at The Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa. Registration and housing now open at .   REGISTRATION ENDS February 28 AND THIS MEETING SELLS OUT EVERY YEAR.

National  News
House Republicans released the American Health Care Act, a proposed reconciliation bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill would repeal the ACA's mandates, implement age-based tax credits linked to incomes, defund Planned Parenthood for one year and freeze enrollment in Medicaid expansion in 2020. (The Washington Post)
United States Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2017 (S.463) which establishes a national Oncology Medical Home (OMH) demonstration project to reform the way Medicare pays for cancer care.  The purpose of the bill is to change the way Medicare pays for cancer treatment by supporting high quality, well-coordinated care that lowers costs to patients fighting cancer and the overall health care system.
Last Tuesday, Democratic senators introduced a bill that would allow for importing of low-cost medicines from Canada and other nations. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Bob Casey (D-Penn.) introduced legislation that would instruct HHS Secretary Tom Price to issue regulations allowing drug wholesalers, pharmacies and individuals to import drugs manufactured at facilities inspected by the Food and Drug Administration and sold by FDA-certified Canadian sellers. Two years later, the secretary would be authorized to allow importation from certain countries that meet U.S. standards. A companion bill was introduced in the house by Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas). The bill would not permit importation of controlled substances, anesthetic drugs inhaled during surgery, or compounded drugs, and sellers would be required to pay a fee to fund the importation program.  Drugs purchased under the act would have to have the same basic characteristics as the version of the drugs approved in the U.S., and HHS would be authorized to approve laboratory testing of the imported drugs to assess their chemical authenticity. Individuals would be barred from importing certain types of drugs, including some biologics, that could only be imported by wholesalers or pharmacies. 

This week, March 6-10, you and your organization are encouraged to make your voices heard in support of repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).  IPAB could be triggered as early as April, launching a process that will lead to billions of dollars in Medicare cuts and reduce healthcare access to beneficiaries.  It is critical that we all urge Congress to act immediately on repeal legislation.  You could:
  • Submit an op-ed from your leadership to a newspaper;
  • Submit pro-repeal letters to the editor to local publications;
  • E-mail the health legislative assistants to members of Congress (e-mail addresses are attached) where your organization has a presence;
  • Post on your Facebook page about the need for IPAB repeal; and
  • Use your Twitter feed to discuss IPAB, using individual member of Congress Twitter handles. IPAB media blitz.pdf (202KB)   Save the Date.docx (25KB)

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) has posted a Draft Scoping Document that will shape an upcoming report on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors for treatment of ovarian cancer. ICER's report is expected to review the evidence on rucaparib (Rubraca™, Clovis Oncology), niraparib (Tesaro, Inc.), and olaparib (Lynparza™, AstraZeneca). Report analyses will also provide information on the cost-effectiveness and potential short-term budget impact of the therapies. The Draft Scoping Document will be open to public comment for three weeks until March 27, 2017 at 3pm Pacific Time.

The UnitedHealthcare Network Bulletin (March 2017) is now available online at and features articles entitled Reviewing and Validating Provider Data, Administrative Guide Update, and Credentialing Plan 2017-2018 Summary of Changes.

CMS News

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published an updated table accompanying the 2016 electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) specifications (published in April 2016) for the 2017 performance period. The updated table, titled Electronic Clinical Quality Measures for Eligible Professionals and Eligible Clinicians can be found on the eCQM Library Page and the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center.  This update removes the previous meaningful use domains and now aligns with the domains listed in the Calendar Year 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, as well as the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Model (APM) tracks of the Quality Payment Program.  Questions regarding the measure table or domains should be reported to the ONC CQM Issue Tracker available at
- CMS is replacing the " Road to 10" and redirecting web traffic to instead!  This is due to CMS noting that web visits to the Road to dropped sharply after the October 2015 implementation of ICD-10 and users going to instead of Road to 10.  The website is now the one-stop site for coders to obtain the official CMS ICD-10 resources. This page still has a link to the Road to 10, but only until April.
AVOID 2018 MEDICARE PAYMENT ADJUSTMENTS!  CMS has extended the deadline from February 28, 2017 to March 13, 2017 for the 2016 Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) data submission for the EHR reporting mechanism. This affects Individual eligible professionals (EPs), PQRS group practices, qualified clinical data registries (QCDRs), and qualified EHR data submission vendors (DSVs).  EPs who do not satisfactorily report 2016 quality measure data to meet the PQRS requirements will be subject to a downward PQRS payment adjustment on all Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) services rendered in 2018.   A complete list of 2016 data submission timeframes is below:
March 13, 2017 deadlines:
EHR Direct or Data Submission Vendor (QRDA I or III) - 1/3/17 - 3/13/17
Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QRDA III) - 1/3/17 - 3/13/17
March 17, 2017 deadline:
Web Interface - 1/16/17 - 3/17/17
March 31, 2017 deadlines:
Qualified Registries (Registry XML) - 1/3/17 - 3/31/17
QCDRs (QCDR XML) - 1/3/17 - 3/31/17
Submission ends at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the end date listed. An Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) account with the "Submitter Role" is required for these PQRS data submission methods.  Click Here to go to the CMS web site for more information.

Affiliate Association News  
TOMORROW, March 8 at 12PM PST, ACCC will host a webinar entitled Palliative Care, Value-Based Payment and the Patient Experience: A Guide for a Changing World. Register at
ACCC and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) are pleased to present a series of three free Virtual Molecular Tumor Boards on March 13, 16, and 24. Register at

ACCC's Institute for Clinical Immune-Oncology will host a webinar entitled Management of Immune-Related Adverse Events in Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer on March 15. Register at
4 Reasons to Attend the 2017 Community Oncology Conference, on April 27 & 28, 2017 at the Gaylord Hotel, National Harbor, MD (just outside Washington DC).
1)The packed agenda covers the timeliest topics in today's community oncology landscape;
2)Hear from national oncology leaders including Skip Burris, MD, Daniel George, MD, and Kavita Patel, MD. The keynote speaker is figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton;
3)Hear firsthand from national and regional payers, employers, and coalitions as they discuss the latest efforts they are engaged in to move cancer care payment reform forward. The 2017 Conference will feature the sixth Payer Exchange Summit;
4)With a record-setting 1,200+ in attendance, the opportunities to network with physicians, practice administrators, pharmacists, nurses, and thought-leaders in community oncology are unsurpassed.
ASCO is tracking legislation that would increase the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products to 21, known as "Tobacco 21," in multiple states. The minimum age of legal access to tobacco products is set by the U.S. government at 18 years of age, however, state and local governments can set older ages. ASCO is committed to policies that will contribute to the reduced prevalence of tobacco use and prevent the occurrence of cancer and other smoking-caused diseases. Last year, ASCO posted a new policy brief,  Minimum Legal Age for Purchase of Tobacco Products, in support of increasing the minimum legal age of purchase of tobacco products to 21 years of age. View a report on these tobacco 21 bills in the states.
ASCO Removes Restrictions on Researchers’ Conflict of Interest. ASCO has removed all restrictions on author relationships previously in the 2013 Policy for Relationships with Companies statement, and all eligible manuscripts and abstracts otherwise will be considered for peer review, regardless of any financial relationships of authors. The decision was announced in the official journal of ASCO, in January 2017.
Applications are now being accepted for ASCO's Quality Training Program at This comprehensive 6-month program is oncology-focused and teaches clinicians how to improve quality using evidence-based decisions and how to reduce clinical and process variation for predictable and sustainable results. In 2017, there will be two regional locations, including Portland, OR (Session 1: April 20-21; Session 2: June 28-29; and Session 3: October 18).
- NCCN has published updated NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) with NCCN Evidence Blocks™ for acute myeloid leukemia (V1.2017); anal carcinoma, systemic light chain amyloidosis, Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia/lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (evidence blocks); chronic lymphocytic leukemia.small lymphocytic lymphoma (chemotherapy order templates); chronic myeloid leukemia, colon cancer, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, genetic/familial high-risk assessment-breast and ovarian, melanoma, multiple myeloma, occult primary, rectal cancer (updated biomarkers); Hodgkin lymphoma (V1.2017); malignant pleural mesothelioma (V1.2017); myeloproliferative neoplasms (new biomarkers); pancreatic adenocarcinoma (V1.2017); small call lung cancer (V3.2017); and, thymomas and thymic carcinomas (V1.2017). For the complete updated versions of the NCCN Guidelines, NCCN Guidelines with NCCN Evidence Blocks™, the NCCN Compendium®, the NCCN Chemotherapy Order Templates (NCCN Templates®), and the NCCN Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria (NCCN Imaging AUC™), please visit

Industry News 
Walgreens announced that the company has designated more than 50 of its local specialty pharmacies as cancer-specialized locations. These cancer-specialized locations are to be led by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have advanced cancer training to assist patients.
The pharmacy staff at these locations have completed a cancer-focused curriculum of advanced education courses, focused on colorectal, lung, prostate and breast cancer, as well as various blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphomas, multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and myelodysplatic syndrome. Read the press release here
Janssen/J&J wants to share the attached Q&A document from J&J's DC office as it relates to the potential Drug Importation Legislation & Policy Initiatives. Please note there is a live link to at the end of the QA.  Entering "drug importation" into the search function will bring up information on the bills and contact information for sponsors and co-sponsors.  Q&A Drug Importation

In This Issue


Spotlight on ASH
February 11, 2017

LunchTime Series
March 29, 2017

Oncology Summit 
March 11, 2017
NCCN Meeting in Florida 
March 23-25, 2017

COA Annual Meeting 
  April 27-28, 2017

ASCO National Meeting in Chicago
June 2-6, 2017


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 |