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 11, 2017
This Weekly's Hot Topics
  • CMS releases final updates for 2018. (CMS News)
  • Applications for ASCO's Quality Training Program (Affiliate Assoc. News)
  • Pfizer's Ibrance FDA approval for metastatic breast cancer (Industry News)

California News 
The California Medical Association (CMA) is offering a free one-hour webinar on April 12 to members to review the kinds of conversations that are necessary for effective care planning and when to have them. Register at
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.
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:
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) Foundation and its Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEOP) have launched a campaign to increase minority participation in clinical studies entitled Encouraging Diversity in Clinical Trials. The campaign hopes to increase clinical trial participation among California's multi-ethnic patient populations. Go to for more information.
The California Medical Association's (CMA) Practice Resources (April 2017) are now available online at and feature articles entitled Health Net Federal Services begins TRICARE contracting initiative; UnitedHealthcare requiring stricter notification requirements for out-of-network ASC referral; Health Net sends SB137 notice to some docs in error; CMS to remove SSNs from all Medicare cards by April 2019; CMS accepting 2016 meaningful use hardship exemptions; CMA updates MACRA preparation checklist; Ask the expert: Making a business can to join a payor network; The Coding Corner: Incident-to billing for Medicare patients. 
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 --Clinical Laboratory Data Reporting: Enforcement Discretion; Open Payments Program year 2016 Review and Dispute Period Ends May 15; April Quarterly Provider Update Available
Claims, Pricers, and Codes --
Events --Open Payments: Prepare to Review Reported Data Call-April 23; Hospice Quality Reporting Program: Public Reporting Webinar-April 27 
Publications --SNF Value-Based Purchasing Call: Audio Recording and Transcript-New; PECOS for Physicians and Non-Physician Practitioners Booklet-Reminder
* MolDX: APC and MUTYH Gene Testing Final LCD-Effective May 15, 2017
* MolDX: MMACHC Test Billing and Coding Guidelines
* 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
* Open Public Meeting Announcement-June 1, 2017
* Documentation Guidelines for Amended Medical Records
* MolDX-CDD: ProMark Risk Score Final LCD-Effective June 1, 2017
* Evaluate Our Services!
* Redetermination Requests Require Signature
* New Waived Tests-CR9956
Forthcoming Noridian/JEMAC webinars 
* Reopenings (April 13)
* 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)
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.

  MOASC News

As a co-signer to the group letter opposing AB 265 (Wood), MOASC encourages you to oppose this bill being decided in the California Assembly. As you know, AB 265 would ban patients in California from receiving copayment assistance programs from pharmaceutical manufacturers when a therapeutically equivalent or interchangeable brand or generic drug is available at a lower cost.  This is of great concern to MOASC and the patient advocacy community because copay assistance programs are a valuable resource for many patients who may be struggling to afford increasing out of pocket costs with their insurance coverage for medications. Which is why we are continuing to actively oppose this bill through letters, calls, email and social media.  MOASC is counting on you to post to your social media channels this week!
Below are a few sample posts we've drafted for your convenience:
*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.

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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
- The American Medical Association (AMA) will host a free 90-minute webinar on MACRA and QPP on April 20th. Go to to register.

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 
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).
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 subject 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 fastThe 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.
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.
- 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: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (V1.2017); esophageal and esophagogastric cancer (V1.2017); follicular lymphoma (V1.2017); gastric cancer (V1.2017); non-small cell lung cancer (V5.2017); thyroid cancer (V1.2017); Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma, Version 1.2017 and for Survivorship, Version 1.2017. 
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.
Pfizer Oncology informs ANCO and MOASC that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Ibrance in combination with any aromatase inhibitor for the initial treatment of postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer (MBC).

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 |