California Oncology Weekly

"Where California Oncologists Go For Answers!"

A publication of the
Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc.
February 18, 2020

This Weekly's Hot Topics    
  • TONIGHT, Dr. Ashkan Lashkari to lead discussion on NSCLC/Metastatic NSCLCMOASC News
  • California Medical Malpractice Rates under attack by trial lawywers! California News
  • Applications now being accepted for ANCO's Travel Awards to Fellows and Young Clinicians ANCO News
  • Medi-Cal pharmacy clawback suspension to remain in place indefinitely.California News

California News

- The trial lawyers are collecting signatures to place another anti-MICRA initiative on the November 2020 ballot. PROTECT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE RATES! California has THE LOWEST Medical Malpractice Rates due to MICRA. CAPP is reaching out to ALL affected parties to join the campaign to formally oppose the anti-MICRA ballot initiative. Being a member of CAPP does not automatically list you as a ballot initiative opponent. MOASC supports the campaign to OPPOSE the anti-MICRA ballot initiative. To include YOU as an official opponent of this flawed initiative, please either click here to fill out the online sign-up form or respond directly to this e-mail giving your approval. There is no cost associated with joining this coalition. Please contact Lisa Maas if you have any questions.
Sponsored by MOASC, ANCO and the American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, SB 983, the Cancer Medication Recycling Act, would create a program that to allow cancer patients to return to their physicians unused oral anti-cancer medications and allow the physician to redistribute those medications to other patients. MOASC & ANCO are also following: SB798 to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in California, including e-cigarettes, and AB 2144, to regulate the step therapy and prior authorization process so as to ensure that they work for patients and doctors, and not just insurance companies by specifying circumstances when a patient can get an exemption from a step therapy requirement, requiring health plans to approve or deny a physician's request for a prior authorization within 24 hours if urgent and 72 hours if nonurgent, requiring health plans to report to the state on their practices related to step therapy, and requiring health plans use a "clinical peer" in evaluating appeals for prior authorizations.
Assemblymember, Dr. Jim Wood, introduced Assembly Bill 2100 to address the misguided policies of DHCS' Medi-Cal Fee-for-Service reimbursement rate and clawbacks. Assemblymember Wood has worked on key health legislation in the past, including the landmark bill to regulate PBMs, which he carried. He is a champion for access to community healthcare. The bill also contains key components to meet the Governor's objective of restricting the Medi- Cal system as it relates to medications. You can read more in-depth about AB 2100 by clicking here
- As previously reported the California Pharmacist Association (CPhA) filed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order against the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to in order to continue the suspension of the clawbacks on pharmacies who serve Medi-Cal patients. The original suspension was negotiated by CPhA Counsel and lawyers for the respondents last summer. Toward the end of last year, DHCS announced that it intended to resume the clawbacks in February of 2020. The judge assigned to the case issued an immediate directive to the DCHS as a result of the restraining order request, suggesting that the Department agree to continued voluntary suspension of its clawback efforts until the Court rules on the original preliminary injunction request. Additionally, the Judge ordered the State to address the impact of the pendency of, AB 2100 (Wood) on the litigation. Last week the State agreed to the Judge's request so the clawback suspension will remain in place indefinitely until further order of the Court. Contact: Michelle Rivas, Vice President, Center for Advocacy

- On Jan. 6, the California Senate Health Committee unanimously approved  AB 713, which would amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to, among other things, provide clarity regarding the definition of "de-identified" information and the law's application to research activities. AB 713 would also introduce new transparency requirements for sales and disclosures of de-identified information. AB 713 has been referred to California's Senate Judiciary Committee. As businesses seek to comply with the CCPA by the July 1 enforcement deadline, they should monitor developments related to AB 713 to understand the scope of available exceptions and whether they will need to provide notice. CCPA, which took effect Jan. 1, imposes new requirements for businesses, including medical and research entities that process personal information of California residents. These requirements include providing notice to consumers regarding use of their personal data and affording consumers several rights. The bill would significantly ease the burden for the medical & research communities.
- Meteorologists say much of Northern California likely will not see a drop of rain in February, heightening concerns that summer will arrive with below-average rainfall and tinder-dry hillsides susceptible to wildfire. In response to the impact of wildfires in California, CancerCare has opened The California Wildfires Patient Assistance Program to help provide emotional and financial support to those affected by cancer who are also dealing with the aftermath of the fires. 

Noridian News 

Noridian/JEMAC has the following updates on their website 
Forthcoming Noridian JEMAC meetings/webinars/workshop
* Submitting Your Enrollment Online Part 1(I&A) Webinar (February 26)
* Common Error when Enrolling in Medicare Webinar (March 4)
* Submitting Your Enrollment Online Part 2 *(PECOS) Webinar (March 18)
* Rebuttal, Reconsiderations and CAPS Webinar (April 8)
* Medicare Part A/B Revalidation Webinar (April 22) 
For more information and to register visit:  

MOASC News  

TONIGHT, February 18, join Dr. Ashkan Lashkari  as he leads a round table discussion on NSCLC and Metastatic NSCLC at Estate Restaurant + Bar - 1519 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90403, at 7PM. This program is open to, and intended for medical oncologists treating NSCLC/Metastatic NSCLC. RSVP at .

On Saturday, March 14, come celebrate MOASC's 30th Anniversary and listen to the  "Exciting Advances in Oncology"  as the focus of the MOASC 2020 Annual Oncology Summit Educational Symposium,  at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach . Speakers will highlight advances in several areas of oncology including melanoma, lymphoma, breast, colon, prostate, kidney, and lung cancers, among others. To register, contact the MOASC office at  or 909-985-9061 x1. #MOASC30
MOASC Member, City of Hope CME presents: Immunotherapy of Cancer: CAR T Cell to Checkpoint Inhibitors, March 18, 2020 to March 21, 2020 at the Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information click  here . To register go to

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Applications now being accepted for ANCO's Travel Awards to Fellows and Young Clinicians to support attendance at the ASCO Annual Meeting, ASH Annual Meeting, or other national oncology meeting in 2020. The deadline for submission is March 31. Awards will be announced by April 30.  Learn more at
REGISTER for the 20th Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers: A Case-based Approach taking place in Napa on March 13-15.
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 (www.anco.org
- Use ANCO's job board to post or search for employment opportunities at ANCO member practices.
Follow ANCO on Twitter at @ANCO News.

National News
MOASC and ANCO have signed onto a letter, and encourages members to support, HR913, the Clinical Treatment Act. The bill would require Medicaid to cover routine care costs for patients on clinical trials with life-threatening conditions. To contact your Congressional Representatives in support of HR913, please go to
- Support is encouraged for   HR3107, The Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act . The bill would streamline prior authorization practices within the Medicare Advantage program. Read CMS News below.
A smartphone and web application accurately predicted clinical malignancy and survival of meningioma patients and showed that tumor size and age at diagnosis are the most important predictive factors, researchers reported in Digital Medicine. The open-source learning model and app provide individual-specific predicted survival curves and could be valuable for patient counseling, the researchers wrote. Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News
State employees in Utah travel to Mexico to obtain specialty drugs in a first-of-its-kind program to lower drug prices. Utah's Public Employees Health Program has contracted with a specialty pharmacy that escorts patients back and forth from the San Diego airport to Hospital Angeles in Tijuana to obtain the drugs.ABC News/The Associated Press
- Bobbi Buell's  E-Newsletter for February is now available online. It includes information about Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage, incident to FAQs, and principal care management.

CMS News

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency will introduce changes to prior authorization this year as part of efforts to improve health innovation and reduce administrative burdens, but she did not provide specifics. Prior authorization has been of interest to the CMS with the agency hosting 35 listening sessions and analyzing more than 2,000 comments it received from a request for information as part of its Patients over Paperwork initiative.
CMS Deputy Chief Health Informatics Officer Alexandra Mugge says the department is developing policies to accelerate development of application program interfaces (APIs) that patients can use to view their insurer's provider network directories and claims information. The CMS is also working on APIs for prior authorization.

Affiliate Association News

- MOASC & ANCO join ASCO in urging members to support HR913, the Clinical Treatment Act, that would require Medicaid to cover routine care costs for patients with life-threatening conditions on clinical trials; and HR3107, The Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act, that would streamline prior authorization practices within the Medicare Advantage program.
Just released, Clinical Cancer Advances: ASCO's Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer highlights the most significant advances in cancer research over the past year as chosen by leading experts in the field and identifies priority areas where ASCO believes research efforts should be focused moving forward. Now in its 15th edition, the report also features the Advance of the Year (an area of clinical cancer research that stands out above the rest) and emphasizes the importance of continued federal funding of cancer research. Read More
Register for the 2020 COA Conference: Focusing On The Future - Together. COA Conferences help community oncology physicians, pharmacy leaders and business representatives connect the dots across specialties, with a special focus on what is relevant for independent community oncology practices. When practices come together to discuss the important initiatives on a national stage, it drives progress in a way that is truly beneficial to patients. Attend the 2020 Community Oncology Conference taking place April 23-24 in Orlando. Learn more and register at
Cedars-Sinai 3rd Annual Gastrointestinal Tumor Conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020, it will provide concise and comprehensive updates on the most recent research and advances in immunotherapy for gastrointestinal cancers. A stellar faculty has been assembled to share developments in precision medicine, research, and immunotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancers of the pancreas, liver, and gastric/esophagus. For more information and to register go to:
Save the Date! National Cancer Survivors Day┬« is Sunday, June 7, 2020. Get a jumpstart on planning your NCSD 2020 event by registering it (free of charge) with the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation at
NCCN has published updated guidelines at 

In This Issue


Oncology Summit 
March 14, 2020

City of Hope CME presents: Immunotherapy of Cancer: CAR T Cell to Checkpoint Inhibitors
March 18-21, 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 material contained in the California Oncology Weekly is intended as general information for 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 accepts no liability for any statements or articles herein.  CPT codes are owned and trademarked by the American Medical Association.  All Rights Reserved.



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