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 .
December 18,  2 0 1 8
DECEMBER 25, 2018 OR JANUARY 1, 2019.

This Weekly's Hot Topics

  • First California Cancer Caucus meeting held in Sacramento (California News)
  • H.R. 1409, the Cancer Drug Parity Act. Tweet today! (California News)
  • Stress and burnout etiology, how you are functioning? (MOASC News)

California News
Through the initiative of the National Oncology State Network (NOSN), MOASC, ANCO and various California cancer stakeholders had their first meeting in Sacramento to create the first California Cancer Caucus (CCC). The CCC is a collaborative effort to discuss research, treatment, education, funding streams and prevention methods in order to support public policies that reduce the number of cancer diagnoses and improve outcomes for cancer patients, survivors and families in California. For a synopsis of the meeting please contact
TWEET TODAY! Many cancer patients are currently paying more out of pocket for oral chemotherapy drugs than they would for intravenous drugs. As innovation in chemotherapy treatment continues to progress, the most effective and appropriate treatment for many types of cancer comes in the form of a pill. In some cases oral chemotherapy drugs may be the only treatment option available for a patient. Matt, a cancer patient in Long Beach experiencing higher cost sharing for oral chemotherapy drugs, has started a petition to push for passage of federal legislation that would address this issue. H.R. 1409, the Cancer Drug Parity Act, would ensure that cancer patients can access oral cancer drugs under the same general cost-sharing rules that apply to intravenous and injected anticancer drugs. To support Matt and other patients dealing with similar struggles, MOASC and ANCO members are encouraged to please take a moment to tweet this link about this issue and let your elected officials know how important it is to the cancer community. You can find Matt's story here:
- The Global Challenge to Prevent Breast Cancer is a competition designed to surface game-changing breast cancer prevention research ideas. This challenge, sponsored by the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP), aims to advance breast cancer primary prevention by surfacing innovative breast cancer prevention research ideas from researchers and others interested in breast cancer prevention. By providing cash prizes, feedback from respected researches, and the opportunity to present ideas to prominent leaders in the field, the Challenge aims to surface breakthrough ideas that will help catalyze the field of breast cancer primary prevention research. The most promising ideas will frame CBCRP's future funding strategy and will be further developed in California with $15 million in grant funding from the Program. Applications are due by January 7, 2019. For more information, visit
- The 2019 California state budget Blueprint has been released by the Assembly and Budget Chair Phil Ting.  It is very high level and has no budget detail; however, it is interesting as a preview of how Californians can expect the Assembly to talk about the budget process.  The Blueprint focuses on the need for additional savings, using one time funds and keeping promises made in past years.  Under Long Term Goals, it highlights "Universal Access to Health Care."  This is in keeping with general consensus that the legislature is not interested this year in tackling "Single Payer" as a real legislative issue.  The other health related item of note is that it mentions the need to "renew and extend" the Medi-Cal Managed Care Organization (MCO) Tax.  If you recall, this revenue covers $1.2 billion in the Medi-Cal program and is usually hotly debated amongst the administration, legislature and health plans. 2019 Budget Blue Print

Noridian News  
Noridian/JEMAC has the following updates on their website
MLN Connects Provider eNews:
Announcements : New Medicare Card: MAC Look-Up Tool Updated; 2019 Medicare Part D Opioid Policies: Training Materials; Open Payments: Review Program Year 2017 Data through December 31; Quality Payment Program: Webinar Library; Quality Payment Program: Updated List of APMs 
Claims, Pricers & Codes : January 2019 Average Sales Price Files 
Publications:  HIPPA Basics for Providers: Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules Fact Sheet-Revised; Per-Beneficiary Therapy Amounts: Annual Update MLN Matters Article-New; CY2019 MPFS Final Rule: Summary of Policies MLN Matters Article-New; Quality Payment Program: MIPS Participation 2018 Web-Based Training Course-New
* New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) Get It, Use It-Revised SE18006
* NCD90.2: Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) CR10878
* 2019 Radiopharmaceutical Fee Schedule Updates

MOASC News  

MOASC Member, presents City of Hope CME: Current Trends in Urologic Oncology CME Conference, February 8 to February 10, 2019, The Pines Lodge, Beaver Creek Resort, CO. Support this program and invite a colleague to join you.  
MOASC's LunchTime Series presents the interactive tool, "Know Your State " webinar Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 12:00pm PT . Learn more about a resource for educating your patients about medication access and affordability options in California and the other 49 states. Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, topics within the tool include: Medicaid expansion, state pharmaceutical assistance programs (SPAPs), Low-income subsidy (LIS) eligibility information, state health insurance assistance programs (SHIPs), standard prior authorization (PA) forms, National Foundations and other nonprofit resources, oral parity laws, advocacy connector, biosimilar legislation, continuity of care and state legislature resources. Join by calling (908) 316-2436 conference ID 73711760. Contact the MOASC Office if you have any questions
SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, February 23, 2019 for MOASC's Oncology Summit - Advancing Cancer Care in the Elderly, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa. Mark your calendar and keep watch for further information on speakers and topics.
MOASC member, City of Hope CME would like to invite physicians and nurses to save the date for their upcoming conference, How the Experts Treat Hematologic Malignancies, March 21 to 23, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Las Vegas. Physician Track: Nursing Track: more information, please contact

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ANCO News  
- ANCO's 2018 Annual Report is now available online at and was mailed to all ANCO physician members the last week in November.

Results from the ANCO/MOASC 2018 staff salary survey are now available online. Read the report, review the results, and download the data at .
In summary, there were slightly more physicians and slightly fewer non-physician employees in the practices reporting for 2018 versus 2016.  The average hourly rate for Administrator/Executive Director, Small Office Manager, Billing Coordinator/Manager, File Clerk, Financial Counselor, Oncology Nurse, Physician Extender, Radiation Oncology Technologist, Receptionist, and X-Ray Technician increased from 2016 to 2018. The average hourly rate for Bookkeeper, IT, Chief Radiation Oncology Technologist, Radiation Oncology Physicist, Research Manager/Coordinator, and Transcriptionist decreased from 2016 to 2018. Other average hour rates remained essentially the same (i.e., plus/minus less than $1/hour).

- Membership renewal notices for 2019 were mailed to all members the last week in November along with annual election ballots and the 2018 Annual Report. If you have not yet done so, then please return your 2019 membership dues to ANCO now to ensure your inclusion in  The ANCO Directory of Members . Be sure to to provide ANCO with your e-mail address and the name(s) and e-mail address(es) of office and/or nurse manager contact(s). Those not renewing their membership by June 30 will be deleted from the Directory of Members and will no longer be eligible for ANCO benefits or receive ANCO information.

- ANCO will host a webinar entitled Medicare Regulations 2019  on January 3 at 12:30PM. Roberta Buell, MBA, onPoint Oncology, will provide a comprehensive update of changes for Medicare reimbursement--including fee schedule, coding/billing, and incentive program updates. Download the webinar announcement at; register at

- ANCO, in association with the Organizing Committee of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and Encore Medical Education, will host the Best of San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium San Francisco (Best of SABCS San Francisco) at The Claremont Hotel on Saturday morning, January 26. Hope S. Rugo, MD, UC San Francisco, is the Regional Director for Best of SABCS San Francisco. Learn more and register at

- Registration is now open for the 19th Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers: A Case-based Approach, taking place at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa on March 15-17, 2019. Go to to register and arrange for housing.

National News 
ASCO's ACT Network with the Coalition to Improve Access to Cancer Care (CIACC) have initiated a twitter campaign regarding oral parity. Please tweet or email your member of Congress, however you would prefer, encouraging them to take action. Below you will find the link to the campaign that allows oncologists to tweet their lawmakers. The ACT Network Campaign link is at If you have any questions regarding the campaign please contact Ryan Strandlund, Grassroots Advocacy Specialist, Policy & Advocacy at
Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) introduced legislation to allow the government to prohibit prescription drug price hikes if they are unjustifiably expensive. While both parties continue to express interest in passing bills in response to rising drug costs, concrete steps forward remain elusive. Read More.. 

CMS News 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a 2019 change to the RITUXAN® (rituximab) J-code and has assigned a permanent J-code for RITUXAN HYCELA® (rituximab/hyaluronidase human subcutaneous injection). Effective January 1, 2019 J-code J9312 will replace J9310 for RITUXAN and the billable units will change from 100 mg to 10 mg. Additionally, the permanent J-code assigned for RITUXAN HYCELA is J9311.
The final performance period for the Value Modifier and Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) programs was 2016 and the final payment adjustment year is 2018. Therefore, the Quality and Resource Use Reports (QRURs) and PQRS Feedback Reports will no longer be available after the end of 2018. All QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports provided under these programs will remain available for download until December 31, 2018. Authorized representatives of groups and solo practitioners can access their QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports at using an Enterprise Identity Management (EIDM) system account with the correct role. For instructions on signing up for an EIDM account and accessing the QRURs and PQRS Feedback Reports, please visit the How to Obtain a QRUR webpage.
You have until January 4, 2019 to sign-up with the Web Interface Tool to manually enter quality data. The QOPI Reporting Registry, a QCDR brought to you by ASCO and ASTRO, is your one-stop shop for 2018 MIPS reporting. In one easy-to-use dashboard, report on 25 CMS-approved quality measures as well as attest to participation in Improvement Activities and Promoting Interoperability (formerly Advancing Care Information). Learn more and sign up at
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule and opened comments that attempts to give more leeway to limit coverage of drugs in protected classes. The proposed rule would only come into play when the price of a prescription rises more than the rate of inflation or if only minor changes are made to older products. Antineoplastics, and five other classes of drugs, are currently required by Part D policy, for sponsors to include on their formularies. While the proposed regulatory provision maintains all protected classes, it provides Part D plans with a greater flexibility to negotiate discounts for drugs in protected therapeutic classes. Submit your  comments  by January 25, 2019.

Affiliate Association News 
- Listen to the ASCO in Action podcast about financial barriers to patient participation in clinical trials at .
- Listen to ASCO podcasts on recently published clinical practice guidelines at .
Register, NOW, for the year's most important conference in community oncology! The 2019 Community Oncology Conference will focus on ensuring quality, affordable and accessible cancer care. Networking with community oncology practices and allied professionals from across the country, sharing insights on how to overcome the challenges you face on a daily basis. Put together for community oncology by community oncology, there is no substitute for the information and networking opportunities offered at this conference, April 4-5, 2019.  Register today to save your seat at COA 2019 in Orlando!
ASCO is pleased to invite you to their 2019 Annual Meeting  being held May 31 - June 4 in Chicago.
-More than 250 recorded sessions from the 2018 ASH Annual Meeting are now available exclusively on ASH On Demand.
NCCN has published the following updates at : acute myeloid leukemia (V3.2018), AIDS-related Kaposi sarcoma (V2.2019), B-cell lymphomas (V1.2019), Bladder Cancer v5.2018, breast cancer (V3.2018), breast cancer risk reduction (V1.2019), palliative care (V1.2019).

Industry News

AMGEN informs ANCO and MOASC that the United States Food and Drug Administration has approved Nplate for pediatric patients 1 year of age and older with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) for at least 6 months who have had an insufficient response to corticosteroids, immunoglobulins, or splenectomy.

- Bayer informs MOASC and ANCO that CMS has assigned a permanent J code for Aliqopa, effective January 1, 2019. The HCPCS code is: J9057  Injection, copanlisib, 1 mg. To view the CMS 2019 table of drugs, click HERE.

Astellas Pharma US, Inc., would like to announce that the FDA approved XOSPATA® (gilteritinib) indicated for the treatment of adult patients who have relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with an FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test. For more information, please visit

Seattle Genetics will host a webcast entitled Adcetris + CHP: Frontline Treatment for Adults with CD30-Expressing PTCL with Steven M. Horowitz, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on December 19 at 7:30PM PST. Learn more and register at .

In This Issue

Spotlight On Hematology
(January 19, 2019)

Oncology Summit 
(February 23, 2019)


Best of SABCS San Francisco
(Berkeley, January 26)

Stanford's Review of the 60thAnnual ASH Meeting
(Half Moon Bay, January 26) 

Blood Cancer Conference
(San Francisco, January 26) 

ASCO's Genitourinary Cancers Symposium
(San Francisco, February 14-16) 
ASCO-SITC's Clinical Immune-Oncology Symposium
(San Francisco, February 28-March 2) 
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 |