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 25, 2017
This Weekly's Hot Topics

  • AB 265 passed out of Assembly Health Committee on a 9-2 vote! This Friday is the deadline for state policy committees to hear all fiscal bills. (California News.)
  • Vote for Barbara McAneny, M.D. for AMA President-Elect. (MOASC News & Affiliate News)
  • ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting pursuant to MACRA/QPP.   (Affiliate News)
California News 
The Cancer Legal Resource Center announces its 2017 Webinar Series covering  many common cancer-related legal issues. This webinar series is open to cancer patients and their families, survivors, caregivers, health care professionals and others coping with cancer. 
The first in the series, How Can I Make Sure My Wishes Are Upheld? will take place on Wednesday April 26 at 12 pm PST, and will provide an overview of advanced health care directives, powers of attorney for financial affairs, conservatorships, and wills and trusts.
Participate by phone or online. Register today. For more information about the CLRC and other webinars in the series, go to their website:

The California Medical Association (CMA) Center for Economic Services has published an update to its MACRA preparation checklist. The check list, entitled MACRA: What Should I Do Now to Prepare?, is available at
Reminder! Nominations Due April 27 at 11:59pm, for CMA Mode of Practice Forum Delegations. CMA is seeking applications and nominations for physicians interested in serving as delegates or alternates for their mode of practice forum delegations to the CMA House of Delegates. CMA's mode of practice forums include the Solo and Small-Group Practice Forum, the Medium Group Practice Forum, the Large Group Practice Forum, the Very Large Group Practice Forum, the Academic Practice Forum, the Administrative Medicine Forum, the Government-Employed Physicians Forum and the Hospital-Based Physicians Forum. Membership in these forums is determined by each member's self-selected mode of practice.
Delegates and alternates will be responsible for representing their modes of practice by attending and actively participating in delegation caucus meetings and in all sessions of the annual House of Delegates. Delegates are responsible for representing their overall constituency and not just their own personal views on issues. Individual delegations may have their own rules setting forth additional or more specific duties and responsibilities. Click here for details , including the nominations form and filing instructions. For more information, please contact Michelle Chapanian, (916) 551-2054 or .
Saturday, April 29, 2017, is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Hundreds of locations throughout California will be accepting and properly disposing of unused prescription drugs, including controlled substances. Proper disposal of unused prescription drugs helps prevent diversion and misuse associated with these medications. This one-day event will provide patients with free, anonymous collection of unwanted and expired medicines. In addition to providing a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, the event also aims to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. Physicians can take action by encouraging their patients to participate in Take Back Day. To find a collection site near your practice, click here. The CMA has produced a flyer to educate patients about proper disposal of prescription medication and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which can be placed in offices and waiting rooms. These and other resources are available on CMA's safe prescribing webpage at
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!
AB 265 passed out of Assembly Health Committee on a 9-2 vote!  This Friday is the deadline for state policy committees to hear all fiscal bills. This is making for some packed hearing agendas, lots of negotiations on bill language and serious lobbying efforts. The California Partnership for Access to Treatment (CPAT), thanks you and everyone who called, emailed, tweeted and voiced their opposition to AB 265, a bill that would ban copay coupons and patient assistance programs. Assemblymember Jim Wood, Chair of Assembly Heath and the bill's author, acknowledged that there are still many questions to be answered as the legislation moves on to Appropriations. We urge you to continue to educate your staff and patients, family and friends about the bill and its impact on patients, and direct any concerns to Assemblymember Wood.   

Noridian News 

Noridian/JEMAC has posted the following updates to its website
* MLN Connects Provider News
Announcements --New Quality Payment Program Resources Available; Revised CMS-588: Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization Agreement
Claims, Pricers, and Codes --
Events --
Publications--SNF Billing Reference Booklet-Revised 
* Open Public Meeting Announcement-June 1, 2017
* There is Still Time to Evaluate Our Services!
* Provider Enrollment Revalidation-Cycle 2-Revised SE1605
* ASP Medicare Part B Drug Pricing Files and Revision to Prior Quarterly Pricing Files-July 2017 CR10016
* Contractor Status Codes (C-Status) Updates
* Hydration Services-R1
* Mandatory Payment Reduction of 2% Continues for the Medicare FFS Program-Sequestration
Forthcoming Noridian/JEMAC May webinars register now.
Noridian is hosting free, web-based workshops (webinars). This article includes a listing of this month's webinar topics. Read the complete update here or at
* Preventive Services (April 26)
* Noridian Medicare Portal Registration and Functionality (May 2)
* Modifier 59 (May 4, May 10)
* Noridian Medicare Portal Registration and Functionality (May 17)

-   Mandatory Payment Reduction of 2% Continues for the Medicare FFS Program - Sequestration 
Providers will continue to see a 2 percent payment decrease on their remittance advice (RA) due to a mandatory sequestration payment reduction. Read the complete update

  DHCS/Medical News

The Department of Health Care Services has released new material aimed at informing key stakeholders about the Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI) and tools to better communicate about it with potential program members. DHCS developed the Social Worker and Case Manager Resource Guide to support social workers and case managers as well as other health advocates and community organizations that engage directly with dual-eligible beneficiaries. This reader-friendly resource guide provides information about the basics of Cal MediConnect health plans, additional benefits provided by Cal MediConnect, and their role in helping coordinate care for their clients. They have also developed a new Advocate CCI Presentation that supports stakeholders who want to better understand the CCI. Advocates can use this slide deck internally to educate staff and networks. In turn, they can effectively advise beneficiaries on their health care options. Additionally, DHCS' statewide outreach coordinators use the tool when conducting training sessions.

  MOASC News

- TOMORROW! Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 12:30pmPDT , don't miss MOASC's LunchTime Series presentation of MACRA-The Quality Payment Program - Implications of the CY2017 Final Rule,  presented by, Jennifer Cunningham, Director, Healthcare Policy and Advocacy, Southern CA Strategic Customer Group, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc. and Leslie Fox Director, Healthcare Policy and Advocacy, Washington, Oregon & Alaska, Strategic Customer Group, Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc. Please contact the MOASC Office for registration information. Thank you!
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. click here to register.
- MOASC Board of Directors has endorsed New Mexico medical oncologist, Barbara McAneny MD in her campaign for President-Elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) . MOASC asks members who are AMA members to reach out to their AMA delegates and encourage them to vote for Dr. McAneny for President-Elect in the June 2017 election. For more information about Dr. McAneny and her positions on important healthcare policy issues, visit

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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
- Anthem will not renew its contract with Express Scripts , leaving the pharmacy benefit manager without its largest client when its current contract expires in 2019.
UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley made $17.8 million in total compensation in 2016 for running the nation's largest health insurance company.  Hemsley's compensation grew by 22.4% over 2015, according to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Hemsley's actual realized 2016 compensation, taking into consideration stock vested and options exercised, totaled $33.4 million, up 66.1% over 2015. UnitedHealth's
2016 revenue totaled $148.6 billion, up 13.2% year over year. Net income was $7.3 billion, up 23.3% over 2015.

CMS News

The first MIPS performance period is January through December 2017. Everyone is encouraged to learn more about the Quality Payment Program by visiting and signing up for the Quality Payment Program listserv to receive reminders for all of these important deadlines. To subscribe, visit the Quality Payment Program portal and select "Subscribe to Email Updates" in the footer. The Education & Tools page includes program resources to help you learn more about eligibility and how to participate. 2016 was the last program year for PQRS, which was replaced by MIPS under the new Quality Payment Program. The final data submission period for reporting 2016 PQRS quality data to avoid the 2018 PQRS downward payment adjustment was January through March 2017.

- The Oncology Care Model (OCM) team will be hosting the OCM Stakeholder Public Forum on Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 10:00am-1:00 p.m. PDT. All interested OCM stakeholders are invited to attend this public forum, with the goal of hearing feedback about OCM. The forum will include a brief introduction from the OCM team followed by discussion. An agenda will be sent to registrants two weeks prior to the forum and will include gathered topics that may be submitted via the text field in the registration link below. Attendees may attend virtually or in-person at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Central Office.
Registration will close one week in advance of the forum. Registration is available via this link until 2:00 p.m. PDT, May 4, 2017.Conference call-in information will be provided to registrants with the agenda one week prior to the meeting. For questions or additional event information, please email
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2017 list of approved qualified registries. Group practices may utilize these third-party vendors to report data for the quality, advancing care information, and improvement activities categories of the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in order to avoid a -4% penalty and potentially earn a small bonus in 2019. Registry is one of several MIPS reporting options. 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.
Physicians are hopeful that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will ease the burdens on small practices looking to participate in Medicare's new payment system, MACRA.

Affiliate Association News 
- ASCO has endorsed Barbara McAneny MD in her campaign for President-Elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) . ASCO invites members who are AMA members to reach out to their AMA delegates and encourage them to vote for Dr. McAneny for President-Elect in the June 2017 election. For more information about Dr. McAneny and her positions on important healthcare policy issues, visit
ACCC is hosting a series of webinars on Immuno-Oncology, as follows: The New Age of Molecular Testing and Targeted Therapies for Lung Cancer on April 28 at 12:15PM PDT; Immunotherapy Delivery: Workflow and Work Process Considerations on May 2 at 9AM PDT; Challenging Issues in Breast Cancer Management on May 4 at 12PM PDT;  Immuno-Oncology Management Best Practices 2.0 May 18 at 10AM PDT. Visit for more information.
Attend the 2017 ASH Meeting on Hematologic Malignancies (MHM) this September 8 & 9, in Chicago to hear how the top experts in the field treat patients with hematologic malignancies. During the meeting's "How I Treat" presentations, speakers will present cutting-edge scientific data that can be translated into new strategies for diagnosis and treatment, showcase their own evidence-based treatment approaches, and address what to do in cases where there is no data. Early Bird registration rates end April 30th! REGISTER NOW

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!
ASCO is releasing a series of webinars to guide oncology practices to successful quality reporting pursuant to MACRA/QPP. The webinars will take place on May 15 (Quality Payment Program: Scoring the Quality Measures), June 19 (Quality Payment Program: Scoring for Advancing Care Information and Improvement Activities), and July 10 (Quality Payment Program: Optimizing Your MIPS Score). All webinars are scheduled for 1PM PT. For more information and to register, visit

2017 ASCO Annual Meeting is June 2-6 at McCormick Place, Chicago. The deadline to secure the lowest rates for the is April 26. Don't miss engaging education sessions, discussing practice-changing research, and connecting with global experts in oncology. Register by Wednesday, April 26 at 8:59 PM (PDT) and save up to $270 on registration fees, depending on your registration type. View all session details, including faculty, presentation titles, and times in the preliminary program. Register and reserve your hotel by April 26 for the best rates. Limited hotel rooms are available. Join ASCO today and save even more!
- ASCO recently joined more than 180 patient and provider advocacy groups in signing a letter to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) urging the Congressional advisory group to reconsider proposed changes to Medicare Part B drug reimbursement . MedPAC has supported recommendations that would fundamentally restructure reimbursement for Part B drugs. For example, instead of the current ASP plus 6% reimbursement formula, the MedPAC proposal would have drug companies pay a rebate to Medicare when the ASP of their products increases faster than an inflation benchmark. Read the full letter at
- ASCO opposes payer utilization management approaches that curb access to high-quality, high-value cancer care  according to a new policy statement. Read the full the statement at
NCCN has published updates to the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®),, for: acute lymphoblastic leukemia (V2.2016) ; anal carcinoma (V2.2017); basal cell skin cancer (V1.2017); breast cancer: Stage IV (V2.2017); dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberant (V1.2017); gastric cancer (V1.2017); Hodgkin lymphoma (V1.2017); kidney cancer (Chinese translation; V1.2015); Merkel cell carcinoma (V1.2017); older adult oncology (V1.2017); ovarian cancer (V1.2017); squamous cell skin cancer (V1.2017); thymomas and thyme carcinomas (V1.2017).  For the complete updated versions of the NCCN Guidelines,, please visit

Industry News 
TODAY AT 7:00pm Pacific time, Novartis Pharmaceuticals cordially invites you to attend a live national broadcast to discuss a new CDK4/6 inhibitor for the frontline treatment of postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer. To register for the event, log on to
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 and enter access code 144 272 48. If cannot join the meeting, please Contact support.
Celgene informs ANCO and MOASC that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Revlimid as maintenance therapy for multiple myeloma patients after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT).
Janssen Oncology informs MOASC & ANCO that effective on January 1, 2017, YONDELIS® (trabectedin) may be reported using the permanent J-Code J9352 (Injection, trabectedin, 0.1 mg).  J9352 replaces J9999 (Not otherwise classified antineoplastic agent) and C9480 (Injection, trabectedin, 0.1 mg), previously used to report YONDELIS® on claims. It also requires billing in units consistent with the new code's descriptor. J9352 applies to most commercial and Medicare patients in both hospital outpatient and physician's office settings
This information is provided to assist you in understanding the reimbursement process. It is intended to help providers in accurately obtaining reimbursement for healthcare services
Please note, the fact that a drug, device, procedure, or service is assigned an HCPCS code and a payment rate does not imply coverage by the Medicare program. An HCPCS code and a payment rate indicate only how the product, procedure, or service may be paid if covered by the program. Fiscal Intermediaries/Medicare Administrative Contractors determine whether a drug, device, procedure, or other service meets all program requirements for coverage. Before prescribing YONDELIS® please see full Prescribing Information including DOSAGE and ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS and visit

Merck informs ANCO and MOASC that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Keytruda for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma in adult and pediatric patients with refractory cHL or patients whose disease has relapsed after three or more lines of therapy. There will be six live webcasts discussing: NEW INSIGHTS IN REFRACTORY OR RELAPSED CLASSICAL HODGKIN LYMPHOMA (cHL).Thu, May 4 - 11am to 12pm PDT; Wed, May 3 6pm to 7pm PDT; Wed, May 10 6pm to 7pm PDT, presented by Robert Chen, MD Associate Professor, City of Hope Duarte, Duarte, California. Thu, May 11 4pm to 5pm PDT; Tue, May 2 6am to 7am PDT; Tue, May 9 5pm to 6pm PDT, presented by Justin Kline, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. This slide-based presentation will: Provide an overview of cHL and review the role of the immune system in cHL; Review clinical and safety data for refractory or relapsed cHL; Discuss clinical considerations for appropriate patients with refractory or relapsed cHL. To register, please visit:
- The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Amgen v. Sandoz , tomorrow, Wednesday. This case is centered around the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009.

In This Issue

LunchTime Series
April 26, 2017  

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)
12th Annual Congress: Hematologic Malignancies (NCCN, San Francisco, October 6-7)

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 |