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 .
November 12, 2019
This Weekly's Hot Topics  
  • Hear about the newly released Medicare Fee Schedule changes on 11/14. MOASC News & CMS News
  • Unintended consequences from California's surprise billing law. California News
  • Washington legislators trying, again, to pass drug pricing legislation National News

California News

- The State of California is urged to rescind, or amend, the Medi-Cal Fee-for-service reimbursement methodology and clawback. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution stating that the action taken by California DHCS harm patients seeking specialized medication. Please share this video and tag your local representatives to spread the word about the draconian cuts and clawbacks implemented by the Department of Health Care Services. Click here or the button below to tweet this video now.
- A California Medical Association's (CMA) survey of physicians finds serious unintended consequences from California's surprise billing law (AB72) that will have long term impacts on patient access to care if not corrected. While the California law has protected patients from surprise bills, physicians are reporting serious problems that will substantially increase health care costs by accelerating consolidation in the health care market, jeopardize the emergency care safety net, and restrict patient access to in-network physicians. Read the survey results at
Most people will experience serious illness at some point in their lives, as a patient, caregiver, family member, or friend. In 2019, CHCF commissioned a statewide survey to better understand medical care and services that Californians would prefer to receive if they had a serious illness or if they were approaching the end of life, and to explore the experiences of those actually dealing with these issues themselves or with loved ones.  
Help Wanted: Californians' View and Experiences of Serious Illness and End-of-Life Care reports selected findings from the new survey and highlights key differences by race/ethnicity and income level. The survey is a follow-up to CHCF's influential Final Chapter report released in 2012. 

California Pharmacists Association will be visiting cities statewide over the next few months hosting Town Halls to engage pharmacists on CPhA's strategic planning, execution, and advocacy on Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) issues. For more details on certain location's, contact Nick Chiappe, Coalition Manager, at   or by phone at 916-978-3791. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and 1 CE credit will be available.
Southern California:
Tuesday, November 19 -  Long Beach Monday, November 25 -  San Fernando Valley
Monday, December 2 -  Pomona Thursday, December 5 -  Orange County
Northern California:
Wednesday, November 13 -  Alameda County ; Monday, December 9 -  Palo Alto

Noridian News 

Noridian/JEMAC has the following updates on their website 
MIPS: Virtual Group Election Period Open Through December 31; MACRA Patient Relationship Categories and Codes: Learn More; Bill Correctly for Medicare Telehealth Services

Clinical Diagnostic Laboratory Test Payment System: Data Reporting Call-November 14; Success with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program Webinar-November 14
Quarterly Update to the National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI) Procedure-to-Procedure (PTP) Edits, Version 26.0, Effective January 1, 2020; April 2019 Update to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)-Revised; Medicare Telehealth Video
* Jurisdiction E Part B LCDs and LCAs-Effective November 1, 2019
* NMP: Part B Deductible, Hospice, and MDPP Response Expansion
* MolDX: NeurolDgenetix Draft LCD Retirement-Effective October 1, 2019
* Educational Events-November 2019
* ICD-10 and Other Coding Revisions to NCDs-April 2020 Update CR11491
* New Medicare Card: HICN Claims Reject January 1, 2020
* Changes to the Laboratory National Coverage Determination (NCD) Edit Software for January 2020-Revised CR11485
* Implementation to Exchange the List of eMDRs for Registered Providers via the esMD System-Revised CR11003
* MLN Connects-November 8, 2019
* HCPCS Drug/Biological Code Changes-October 2019 Update-Revised CR11422
Forthcoming Noridian JEMAC meetings/webinars/workshops
* Noridian Medicare Portal Registration for Part A, B, and DME Users Webinar (November 19)
* Using the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Webinar (December 3)
* New Provider Enrollment Rebuttal Process Webinar (December 4)
For more information and to register visit:

MOASC News  

This Thursday! Plan to attend the "MOASC Educational Series Program," November 14, 2019. Get the most recent information to prepare your practice for 2020 changes! Bobbi Buell  will bring news on the NEWLY RELEASED MEDICARE FEE SCHEDULE CHANGES and billing changes from across the board with southern California benchmarks and specific California healthplan issues;  Carynne Godfrey,  from Noridian, addressing specific Medicare changes; Dawn Holcombe presenting current USP800 (eff. 12/1/19) and USP797 news and further actions; Arthur Lurvey, MD, FACP, FACE, California Medicare Contractor, Noridian, Medical Director, speaking on new E&M codes for physicians' awareness coming in 2021; and Remedios Turner, from Medi-Cal, reviewing state initiatives of coverage. Presenters will also address new imaging rules; payment changes; classification of physician relationship to patient; off-label coverage, and more. Please RSVP to
MOASC members can register for the 61st ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, December 7-10, 2019, using your ASH username  and password . If someone else is registering for you, please provide them with your credentials to avoid delays. If you have forgotten your credentials, you may reset them on the ASH website using the "Forgot your  Username  or  Password " links.
The MOASC Oncology Summit, Saturday, March 14, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach. The MOASC Oncology Summit continues to highlight cutting-edge topics presented by world-renowned physicians. You will not want to miss our 2020 program!

    Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our profile on LinkedIn     

- ANCO seeks nominations of members to stand for election to the Board of Directors. Nominate a colleague or yourself by send an e-mail (and an e-CV, if yourself) with the name and e-mail address of the nominee to

- The   ANCO-UCSF Precision Oncology Symposium  took place at the  Marine's Memorial Club  in San Francisco on Saturday, November 9. Download the meeting syllabus at at

- ANCO's 4Q2019 Hematologic Malignancies Updates  is taking place in San Francisco on November 16. Download the meeting announcement at; register at

- SAVE THE DATE for Best of SABCS San Francisco taking place in Berkeley on January 11. Best of SABCS is cosponsored by ANC and Encore Medical Education.

- 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 ( ) at .

Follow ANCO on Twitter at  @ANCO News .

National News
- Trying again this week to obtain unanimous consent to pass drug pricing legislation that would crack down on efforts by drugmakers to delay competition from generic drugs, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, plans to address the objections of last week's vote. Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., also failed in their attempt to pass by unanimous consent a measure that would require drug companies to disclose prices in television ads. The Hill
The FDA is seeking public comment on its draft version of best practices for postmarket safety surveillance of drugs and biologics. The draft discusses surveillance for different product types, as well as specific patient populations, identification of safety signals and possible agency actions. Regulatory Focus .
Seventy-five percent of independent physicians polled by Kareo said time demands are a challenge while 73% said avoiding burnout is a challenge. Other challenges include managing quality measure incentives and the time demands of EHR data entry. Modern Medicine/Physicians Practice
Disparities in preventable deaths from cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease increased for US rural counties from 2010 to 2017, compared with urban areas, CDC researchers reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Data showed the rural/urban disparity was about the same for deaths due to stroke but decreased for unintentional injuries, due largely to an increase in opioid-related injuries in urban areas. HealthDay News
Reminder: Marketplace Open Enrollment started November 1 and lasts until December 15. Now is the time to visit  to get ready for this year's Open Enrollment and review your 2020 health plan options. Communicate this with your patients to ensure they share their insurance changes with you.
TRICARE Open Season  runs from Nov. 11 through Dec 9, 2019.  Enrollment choices made during this period will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. On Jan. 1, some copayments for prescription drugs will increase. If prescriptions go through the TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or at a retail network pharmacy, you will pay anywhere from $2 to $7 more starting Jan. 1. Congress made this change in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Read the full article .  

CMS News 
- CMS released its final rule for reimbursement under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS), including proposals related to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) and E&M codes, and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) on November 1. Read CMS's final rules, press releases and fact sheets at Read ASCO's preliminary analysis of these rules at and, respectively. Read ACCC's analysis at
Don't just read about it here, BETTER YET, attend the MOASC Educational Series Program, " this Thursday, November 14, 2019 in Huntington Beach! .
A preliminary report presented to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission supports previous data showing that the trend of hospitals buying up physician practices or hiring physicians is driving up costs for commercial insurers and Medicare. It could bolster CMS plans to move to site-neutral payments, but MedPAC senior analyst Dan Zabinski said the effect of vertical integration on quality of care is ambiguous. Bloomberg Law (free content)
Earlier, CMS had published updated open payments data reported in 2018 and physicians have until December 31 to review and dispute the 2018 data reported in their name. Learn more and review your data at

Affiliate Association News
ASH offers multiple funding opportunities for hematology Fellows, junior faculty, and senior research fellows at various career stages. Apply now for one of the following career-enhancement awards and get the research funding needed to move your hematology career forward--ASH Minority Hematology Fellow Award, ASH Research Training Award for Fellows. Apply now at .
ASCO's PracticeNet holds regular monthly teleconferences for any practice staff only.
  Visit  to review past calls and register for forthcoming calls.
-  J oin Targeted Oncology ™  next  Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 7pm Pacific,  for  sit-down  Roundtable discussion on Lymphoma.   Experts will discuss pathology report findings, patient diagnostic workup, the most likely diagnosis and potential treatment options across multiple cases in a given therapeutic area.  Key Opinion Leader: Dr. Marin Xavier (Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center) will moderate this program at Donovan's Steak and Chop House (570 K Street, San Diego, CA 92101)  RSVP at . To view the invitation click  here .
Make your comments to ASH by November 15 on their draft recommendations for guidelines for the prevention and treatment of VTE in patients with cancer. Materials are available at .
- While at the 61st ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, plan to attend the Women in Hematology Networking Reception , Accelerating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with a Focus on Women in Hematology onDecember 9. Guest Lecturer Dr. Julie Silver, Associate Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School. Reception will be at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Regency Ballrooms T/U, 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.  RSVP by Tuesday, November 19.
Learn more about the experiences of four practices that successfully undertook significant practice improvement projects--reducing fragmentation of care, breaking down silos, harnessing data, and striving for high-quality cancer care--in the   ASCO Connection . ASCO has made a commitment to help physician leaders and other oncology care team members navigate the turbulence in the cancer care delivery system and improve the health of oncology practices to ensure their capacity to provide high-quality, high-value cancer care to patients. Learn more at .
Voting began November 1 and closes on December 2, for the ASCO Board Election. The Committee has selected 14 distinguished ASCO members as candidates for open leadership positions within the Society, including President-Elect, four seats on the Board, and two seats on the Nominating Committee. Eligible ASCO members can vote for their chosen leader beginning November 1. ANCO member Beverly S. Mitchell, MD, Stanford Cancer Center, is among the candidates for the Nominating Committee. Review the online candidate information at .
Round 2 data submission runs through December 3 for  ASCO Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI).  The oncologist-led, practice-based, quality assessment program for outpatient oncology clinics, is free for practices with at least one active ASCO member. Practices can benchmark their quality of care against more than 150 quality measures. Register at .
- The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued new radiation therapy (RT) guidelines for the treatment of pancreatic cancer  at
NCCN has published updated guidelines at .

Industry News 
Celgene has announced that that the FDA has approved Reblozyl for treatment of anemia in adult patients with beta thalassemia who require regular red blood cell transfusions.

Sandoz Pharmaceuticals has announced that the FDA has approved its bio similar pegfilgrastim Ziextenzo referencing Neulasta.
Teva Oncology has announced that it has launched its biosimilar rituximab Truxima in the United States. Truxima was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) either as monotherapy or in combination with chemotherapy. The drug is also approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

In This Issue


Educational Series
November 14, 2019

Oncology Summit 
March 14, 2020


4Q2019 Hematologic Malignancies Updates (San Francisco; November 16)

Multidisciplinary Management of NET Disease (San Francisco; November 16)

Best of WCLC San Francisco
Early Bird ANCO member registration available; November 23) 

Best SABCS San Francisco (Berkeley, January 11, 2020)

ASCO's Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium
(San Francisco, January 23-25, 2020)

 ASH's Highlights of ASH (San Francisco, January 24-25, 2020) 

ASCO's Genitourinary Cancers Symposium
(San Francisco, February 13-15, 2020) 

Stanford's Review of the 61st Annual ASH Annual Meeting (Half Moon Bay, February 15, 2020)

(Stanford, April 2-3, 2020)
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  MOASC and ANCO 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 2954, Alameda, CA 94501 |  P (415) 472-3960 |