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 4, 2017
This Weekly's Hot Topics

  • April is National Minority Health Month (California News)
  • MOASC Lunchtime Series presentation replay (MOASC News)
  • Hematologic Malignancies Updates in 2017 (ANCO News)
  • Looking for an expert in melanoma (Affiliate News)

California News 

Thank you to those who completed the CDOC Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change survey. If you haven't had a chance to complete the survey, please respond by TOMORROW Wednesday, April 5th, as CDOC continues to strengthen its Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change efforts as a means to effectively reduce the burden of cancer. the CDOC would like to hear from you on what your PSE needs may be. CDOC has created a short survey to help them gauge interest in learning more about, and implementing PSE interventions in your work. Please help by following the link and completing the short survey. It takes only a few minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your time.  
April is a busy month in cancer control. Join the California Dialogue On Cancer (CDOC) in raising awareness about cancer among minorities in honor of National Minority Health 
Month, National Minority Cancer Awareness Week (April 9-15) , and National Cancer Control Month. Download the updated Minority Cancer Awareness Week Social Media Toolkit today.
ATTENTION Physicians in the San Gabriel Valley! The Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP ) The Coalition to Protect MICRA, invites you to please join them for an evening reception in honor of Assembly Member Blanca Rubio on Thursday, April 20th  from 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. The reception will be held at Garden View Post Acute Rehab (14475 Garden View Ln., Baldwin Park, CA). Please click here to view the invitation. Please share this invitation with patients, colleagues and staff and encourage them to attend. Please RSVP to Tina de Vere White ( you for your continued support of CAPP.
With a dramatic shake-up happening in Washington, D.C., the Western Health Care Leadership Academy is the right place and time for physician leaders who want to stay on top of policy and political changes to shape the future of health care.  Register today and join your colleagues, May 5-7 in San Diego for the West Coast's premier health care leadership conference!
The California Medical Association (CMA) has joined the American Medical Association and other medical associations to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish a new "administrative burden" category of hardship exemption for the 2016 meaningful use and physician quality reporting system (PQRS) performance year. 
When the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) was passed, Congress recognized that existing Medicare reporting programs like meaningful use and PQRS needed to be streamlined. Click here to read the letter to CMS.

Noridian News 
- Noridian/JEMAC has posted the following updates to its website
* MLN Connects Provider News
Announcements --MIPS Annual Call for Measures and Activities through June 30
Claims, Pricers, and Codes --
Events --MIPS Cost Measure Development Listening Session-April 5; Open Payments: Prepare to Review Reported Data Call-April 13; 
Publications --NPI: What You Need to Know Booklet-New; SNF Consolidated Billing Web-Based Training Course-Revised; Remittance Advice Resources and FAQs Fact Sheet-Revised; Reading a Professional Remittance Advice Booklet-Revised; Medicare Enrollment for Physicians and Other Part B Suppliers Booklet-Reminder; Medicare Enrollment for Institutional Provides Booklet-Reminder; 
* Laboratory NCD Edit Software-Changes for July 2017 CR10036
* MolDX: VEGFR2 Tests Billing and Coding Guidelines
* MolDX: FDA Approved ALK Companion Diagnostic Tests Billing and Coding Guidelines-R1
* MolDX-CDD: Oncotype DX Breast Cancer for DCIS (Genomic Health) LCD-R1
* MolDX: Genetic Testing for BCR-ABL Negative Myeloproliferative Disease LCD-R4
Forthcoming Noridian/JEMAC webinars 
* Reopenings (April 13)
* Preventive Services (April 26)
* Modifier 59 (May 4, May 10)
Bladder/Urothelial Tumor Markers Final LCD - Effective May 16, 2017
The following Local Coverage Determination (LCD) has completed the Open Public and Contractor Advisory Committee (CAC) comment period and is now finalized. Read the complete update.

  Medi-Cal News 
California's doctors and dentists have renewed their push for more money to treat Medi-Cal patients. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, and some health advocates, say they have other priorities for improving the low-income health program, which serves some 14 million residents, or about a third of the state's population. Doctors expected better pay on a new tobacco tax passed by voters in November. Proposition 56 was estimated to add about $1.2 billion to the state's Medi-Cal fund for 2017-18. But Gov. Brown's proposed budget in January disappointed providers: He did not recommend raising doctors' Medi-Cal rates, instead earmarking the money to cover the program's overall costs.
California doctors have long decried California's Medi-Cal rates, which are lower than those of Medicaid programs in 45 other states and the District of Columbia. They argue that skimpy pay deters many doctors and dentists from treating poor patients.
Earlier this month, the California Medical Association and the California Dental Association, representing doctors and dentists, released their own budget proposal seeking to boost those payments. The proposal suggests giving doctors annual bonuses of up to $15,000 based on the proportion of their patients on Medi-Cal. The price tag on their plan could be as much as $607.5 million. Gov. Brown is scheduled to release a revised budget proposal in May that could change how the tobacco money would be spent. 

  MOASC News

- If you missed the MOASC Lunchtime Series presentation, Oncology Care Model, with a bonus update on USP Pharmacy Regulations in Oncology, last Wednesday, March 29th, you can listen to the replay. Replay Dial-In Number 1-888-203-1112 and Passcode 111738386. The  recording expires on Friday, April 28, Please contact or call 909-985-9061 ext. 1 for slides. 

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ANCO is organizing a series of Hematologic Malignancies Updates in 2017. The first Update will take place on May 6 at the Sacramento Hyatt Regency on May 6 with Mehrdad Abedi, M.D., University of California, Davis, Sandy Wong, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, and Julian Davis, M.D., University of California, Davis. The latest research on novel treatment modalities for hematologic malignancies, myeloma, and amyloidosis, along with case studies for these diagnoses, will be presented. These updates are supported by Janssen Biotech, Merck, Pfizer Oncology, and Pharmacyclics. Download the meeting announcement at

ANCO's ASCO Highlights 2017 will not take place in 2017 in lieu of our encouragement of members to attend ASCO's Best of ASCO in San Francisco (; June 16-17). However, ANCO will host an event on June 15 entitled The State of Cancer Care with Wes Kidder, M.D., and Margaret Tempero, M.D., University of California, San Francisco, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Watch for a meeting announcement in April.

National  News
A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would let Medicare experiment with covering more telehealth services. Under the Telehealth Innovation and Improvement Act, sponsored by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Col.) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), selected hospitals would be allowed to test offering telehealth services to Medicare beneficiaries in cooperation with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.  The CMMI would independently evaluate the tested telehealth for cost, effectiveness, and quality of care. If one of the evaluated models succeeds in testing, it then would be covered throughout Medicare. The goal of the bill is to expand access to healthcare for rural patients, who tend to be farther away from hospitals than their urban counterparts. But there are concerns about how expanding telehealth would affect total Medicare costs. A similar bill died when it was introduced in the House in 2015. The two Senate sponsors said in a news release that the bill would reduce healthcare costs. But a recent study in Health Affairs found that while each telehealth visit may be cheaper than an equivalent in-person visit, telehealth may increase utilization, which leads to greater overall costs.
The April 2017 UnitedHealthcare Network Bulletin has been published. The Bulletin is a monthly publication for participating care providers, featuring timely updates to procedures, programs and policies, and important administrative and clinical information. In the issue, you'll find articles about:  Enhanced claimsLink Replacing Other Online Options; Administrative Guide updates; Hospital Quality Program reports, and much more.

CMS News
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), yesterday, released final updates to the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs for 2018. Through these changes, CMS seeks to support benefit flexibility and efficiency that allows Medicare enrollees to choose the care that best fits their health needs. The final policies are similar to 
those proposed and discussed in the Advance Notice and draft Call Letter in February but incorporate several changes in response to feedback received during the public comment period. On average, plans can expect a revenue change of 0.45 percent, though individual experiences will vary. For a fact sheet on the 2018 Rate Announcement and Call Letter, please visit:
- CMS is releasing a Request for Information to welcome continued feedback on Medicare Advantage and Part D. CMS is soliciting ideas for regulatory, sub-regulatory, policy, practice and procedural changes to better accomplish transparency, flexibility, program simplification and innovation in Medicare Advantage and Part D. CMS is accepting comments on the Request for Information through April 24, 2017. The 2018 Rate Announcement and Call Letter, and the Request for Information may viewed through: and selecting "2018 Announcement."
Groups participating in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) track of the Quality Payment Program are not required to register, except for groups that intend to utilize the CMS Web Interface and/or administer the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) for MIPS survey. To register, please visit the Quality Payment Program website. The registration period is from April 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017. The registration period is from April 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017.
With the deadline of July 1, CMS has announced that it is now accepting hardship exceptions from the meaningful use requirements of the EHR incentive payment program for the 2016 reporting year. Physicians who can show that demonstrating meaningful use would result in a significant hardship can apply for a one-year exception and avoid a negative payment adjustment in 2018. For more information and applications, go to

Affiliate Association News 
The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, Pharmacy Times & Specialty Pharmacy Times is reaching out regarding their video program. The person they are seeking to interview must: 1. Be a s ubject expert in melanoma; work within a health-system setting; have used Imlygic before; preferably have published on Imlygic.
If you or anyone you may know qualifies, please contact, Brian Huag, President 609-716-7777.
Join the American Medical Association (AMA) on April 20 for a free webinar entitled MACRA/QPP: Medicare Access and CHIP Authorization Act/Quality Payment Program at 4PM PDT. Register for the webinar at:

The United States cancer care delivery system is undergoing profound changes to better meet the needs of people with cancer, but persistent hurdles threaten to slow progress, according to ASCO's fourth annual State of Cancer Care in America report. 
The report is published in the Journal of Oncology Practice and was presented at a briefing on Capitol Hill. A summary of the report is available at
-Less than one month to go before #COA2017. Join a record-breaking crowd of more than 1,200 for two packed days of learning and networking! Registration closes April 21st and hotel rooms are going fast. The 2017 Community Oncology Conference is planned specifically to meet the needs of community oncology providers, administrators, nurses, pharmacists, and patients. The packed agenda covers the timeliest topics in today's community oncology landscape, including how to survive MIPS/MACRA, the Oncology Care Model (OCM), 340B, immuno-oncology, the Oncology Medical Home (OMH), physician recruitment, coding denials, and MUCH more. Connect, learn, and share at the 2017 Community Oncology Conference April 27-28, 2017 right outside of Washington, DC. Register today and join us!
Have you or your colleagues worked to implement appropriate use strategies in your practice, institution, or hospital system? If so, ASH encourages you to submit a nomination to be one of this year's three  ASH Choosing Wisely Champions.  Presented in cooperation with the ABIM Foundation, the Choosing Wisely Champions initiative was created to recognize the efforts of practitioners who are working to eliminate costly and potentially harmful overuse of common tests and procedures, and to provide annual meeting attendees with an opportunity to learn about projects that might be translated to their own practices. Three nominees will be selected to present their successful utilization strategies during the Choosing Wisely session at the 59th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta. Clinicians, researchers, or trainees at all levels in both academic and community settings are encouraged to apply by June 1.
- Snag your National Cancer Survivors Day® t-shirts, souvenirs, and decorations. The deadline to order official NCSD merchandise has been extended to TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 5. National Cancer Survivors Day® is the one day each year set aside to recognize those who are living with a history of cancer and to bring attention to the ongoing challenges they face. This year, NCSD will be held on Sunday, June 4. This day will mark the 30th annual National Cancer Survivors Day®.  Anyone can plan and host an NCSD event in their community. But you must register your event to use the copyrighted National Cancer Survivors Day® name and logo, and to order official NCSD merchandise. By registering your event, you'll also gain access to: 1) The exclusive NCSD Speakers Bureau Roster, which has contact information for nationally recognized celebrities and keynote speakers; 2) A special offer from Coping® magazine; 3) Free Welcome Brochures, Cancer Survivors Guides, and other valuable resources. There is no cost or obligation when you register. You can register your event at
ASH is now accepting nominations for members to participate in its seventh annual Advocacy Leadership Institute that will take place September 27-28, 2017, in Washington, DC. This two-day workshop is an exciting opportunity for ASH members who wish to learn about legislation and health policy affecting hematology research and practice. The first day of 
the Institute will include sessions featuring guest speakers from Congress and the Administration. On the second day, participants will visit their congressional delegation on Capitol Hill to apply what was learned on the first day. Nominations are being accepted through June 16. Self-nominations are welcome, and individuals may nominate more than one colleague. To submit a nomination or to learn more about this opportunity, visit the  ASH website.
To support clinical decision-making around the use of radiation therapy in patients with cancer, NCCN has launched the NCCN Radiation Therapy Compendium. The radiation therapy recommendations contained in the Compendium are derived directly from the library of NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology which document evidence-based, consensus-driven management to ensure that all patients receive care most likely to lead to optimal outcomes. Learn more at
A NEW NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) with NCCN Evidence Blocks™ has been published on (V1.2017): Anal Cancer; Follicular Lymphoma; B-Cell Lymphomas; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia/Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma; Colon Cancer; Hair Cell Leukemia; Hepatobiliary Cancers; Primary Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphomas; Rectal Cancer; Soft Tissue Sarcoma; Systemic Light Chain Amyloidosis; Testicular Cancer; T-Cell Lymphomas; Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia / Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma.
- NCCN has published updates to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), the NCCN Drugs & Biologics Compendium (NCCN Compendium®), and NCCN Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria (NCCN Imaging AUC™) for adult cancer pain (V1.2017); antiemesis (V2.2017); B-cell lymphomas (V3.2017); Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (V1.2017); esophageal and esophagogastric cancer (V1.2017); neuroendocrine tumors (V2.2017); and, smoking cessation (V1.2017).
For the complete updated versions of the NCCN Guidelines, NCCN Guidelines with NCCN Evidence Blocks™, the NCCN Compendium®, the NCCN Biomarkers Compendium®, the NCCN Templates®, and the NCCN Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria (NCCN Imaging AUC™), please visit .To view the NCCN Guidelines for Patients®, please visit Free NCCN Guidelines apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices are now available! Visit

Industry News 
-Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems invites you to join their WebEx meeting on MACRA: The Quality Payment Program - Implications of the CY2017 Final Rule, Wednesday April 26th, 12:30pm Pacific time. Join WebEx meeting: Meeting number: 813 596 506. Meeting password: MACRA. OR, join by phone: 1-877-565-9999.  If cannot join the meeting, please Contact support.
- Merck launched Test.Talk.Take Action, in late 2016, an unbranded awareness campaign focused on increasing people's understanding of biomarkers and the role they play in the  treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) by talking with their health care provider about biomarker testing. The campaign microsite,, serves as the central hub for the program, where those impacted by lung cancer can access resources, including an animation and infographic illustrating how testing for biomarkers can help doctors determine the most appropriate treatment plan for a patient's lung cancer.
This microsite can be embedded directly on your website so visitors can easily access the campaign materials without clicking through to another location. Embed Code: <iframe width="100%" height="1487" frameborder="0" src=""></iframe> . See how the embedded site appears on a website by clicking here. Please let Merck know if you'd like to coordinate some time to discuss the embed feature with your digital or information technology team. Youareanimportantpartofthetestingprocess.Yourpartnership is appreciated.
- Tesaro informs ANCO that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Niraparib as a maintenance therapy for women with recurrent ovarian cancer.

In This Issue



LunchTime Series

COA Annual Meeting 
  April 27-28, 2017

ASCO National Meeting in Chicago
June 2-6, 2017

(Sacramento, May 6) 
The State of Cancer Care (San Francisco, June 15)

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 |