June 22, 2021
This Weekly's Hot Topics
  • HAVE YOU READ IT? California News
 
  • Tomorrow, June 23 webinar about physicians’ return-to-work issues. California News
 
  • Tomorrow, June 23 join the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network California News
 
  • June 25, is the deadline to submit your responses to Noridian Medicare News/Noridian News
 
  • June 28 is the deadline for submitting comments to CMS Medicare News/CMS News
MOASC News
MOASC President, Ashkan Lashkari, MD, will join ANCO President, Thach-Giao Truong, MD, on ANCO Connections, Thursday, July 15, 12:00pm-1:00pm. The title of the program is, Connecting with MOASC: Re-opening of California, and what it means for Oncologists.
MOASC continues their Membership drive. Your Membership in MOASC is an investment in your patients. MOASC has advanced oncology in California, and influenced national dialogue for the past 31 years. MOASC provides you access to California oncology colleagues, clinical education and support for delivery of oncology patient care, no matter the setting or the stage of your career.
Contact the MOASC Office at moasc@moasc.org, or 909-985-9061 ext. 1, for more information on how MOASC benefits you.
MOASC Programs - Save the Dates - All Times are Pacific
Clinical Peer to Peer Discussion on Lung Cancer, Wednesday, July 28, 5:30pm – 7:00pm-PDT. MOASC Secretary, Joshua Mansour, M.D., City of Hope will host moderator Hatim Husain, M.D., UCSD in a panel discussion of case presentations and discussion of various treatment options with; Munveer Bhangoo, M.D., Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center; Misaqh Karimi, M.D., City of Hope; Jonathan Goldman, M.D., UCLA Hematology & Oncology.
The purpose of this meeting is multifaceted; to provide ongoing clinical education through community outreach, discuss new treatment options, side effect management and clinical trials. This will be a great opportunity to learn from key opinion leaders and network with colleagues. 
Benefits of Attending:
  • Submit questions and cases for discussion with KOL’s in the field;
  • Hear the latest clinical trial data and apply it to your patients; and
  • Consider real-world scenarios and how to mitigate barriers to treatment.
Target Audience:
This educational activity is directed toward medical oncologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and other professionals with an interest in hematology/oncology.
This event is complementary registration is required. 
Mark Your Calendar for the MOASC virtual Spotlight On Clinical Oncology Saturday, August 14, 8am – 12pm. Topics to be discussed are on breast cancer, GU cancers, upper GI and lower GI cancers, lung cancer and melanoma/sarcoma. Renowned speakers from UCI, UCSD, Cedars-Sinai and more are being lined up to present a most valuable program for you.
California News
HAVE YOU READ IT?
 
HAVE YOU SEEN HOW YOUR STATE GOVERNMENT IS EITHER IGNORANT, HEAR ONLY FROM THE PAYORS, OR
JUST DOES NOT CARE FOR YOUR PATIENTS?
 
AB347 CONTINUES TO MOVE TOWARDS PASSING IN THE SENATE.
 
AB347 FLAGRANTLY ALLOWS THE CARLESS, FOR-PROFIT, APPLICATION OF STEP-THERAPY (aka FAIL FIRST) TO DELAY YOUR TREATMENT TO YOUR PATIENTS.
 
PAYORS AND PBMs PROFIT THROUGH THEIR NEGOTIATED REBATES FROM DRUG MANUFACTURERS TO HAVE YOU TREAT YOUR PATIENT WITH “THEIR BRAND,” PURPORTEDLY HAILING THE PRACTICE AS A COST-SAVING MECHANISM.
 
THE HEALTH OF YOUR PATIENT IS COMPROMISED AND PLACES YOU IN MEDICAL-LEGAL JEOPARDY!
 
Per bill language, “…Existing law authorizes a health insurer to require step therapy if there is more than one drug that is appropriate for the treatment of a medical condition, and authorizes a health care service plan to utilize step therapy consistent with Knox-Keene…This bill would clarify that a health care service plan that provides coverage for prescription drugs may require step therapy, as defined, if there is more than one drug that is appropriate for the treatment of a medical condition…”
 
YOU MUST WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS TODAY TO STOP THIS TRAVESTY!
 
INFORM YOUR PATIENTS TO WRITE TO THEIR SENATOR DEMANDING ACCESS TO THE TREATMENT AS PRESCIBED BY YOU, THEIR PHYSICIAN, NOT BY THE DISTANT FOR-PROFIT INTERLOPER.
 
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE IN TREATMENT OF THE CANCER PATIENT.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE IN COMMUNICATING WITH THE SENATORS IN SACRAMENTO!
It is imperative that correct information flows to those institutions that can change flawed policy. A few months ago, the California Oncology Weekly published information about MOASC and numerous other organizations having met with the California State Board of Pharmacy regarding the issue of White Bagging/Brown Bagging/Clear Bagging, and its impact to patient care. Both the California State Board of Pharmacy and the Department of Managed Health Care have asked that we share patient complaints with them, in order to demonstrate the public health impact of white/brown/clear bagging policies. We continue to ask that you share your patient stories with them through their websites and via email. We are hopeful that if they receive enough patient complaints, they will then take action to revise this policies. Thank you. 
Tomorrow, June 23rd, 12:15pm CMA is also hosting a webinar to help employers understand their rights and obligations, as California businesses begin to transition back the physical workplace. Employers, understandably, have many questions about what is, and is not, allowed as we continue to grapple with the fallout of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The CMA is working with employment lawyer Oscar Rivas of Landegger Rivas Verano & Davis and prepared the attached FAQ sheet, to help employers understand their rights and obligations. Mr. Rivas will answer some of the most common questions physicians have about return-to-work issues, including whether employers can inquire about an employees’ vaccination status; if vaccination is or can be required for returning employees; whether the employer is required to accommodate employees who want to continue telecommuting; what obligations, if any, will employers have to accommodate employees not vaccinated; and what issues should employers address once employees return to work.
Tomorrow, June 23rd, 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) California invites you to please join them at the 2021 ACS CAN California Virtual Legislative Awards Reception as they honor top California policy makers who have championed critical, evidence-based policies that advance ACS CAN’s mission to eliminate cancer. Hear from a distinguished panel discussing disparities in colorectal cancer screening.
The California Department of Labor & Industrial relations updated their Safety and Health Protection on the Job Notice. The updated notice reflects an address and phone number change to the Occupational Safety and Health District Office in Long Beach.
If the revision date on your poster is prior to 03-26-2021, please print and post this updated notice.
The California Department of Industrial Relations released their 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave notice. The new notice is effective March 29, 2021. Employers in California with more than 25 employees must now provide their employees with up to 80 hours of COVID-19-related paid leave. In addition, this requirement is retroactive to January 1, 2021 and expires on September 30, 2021. If the revision date on your poster is prior to 03-26-2021, please print and post this updated notice.
On July 1, 2021 UnitedHealthcare will update the title of the UnitedHealthcare West Prior Authorization Requirements list on to “UnitedHealthcare West Commercial Prior Authorization Requirements to clarify that this list applies to UnitedHealthcare West non-capitated commercial plans. This list does not apply to UnitedHealthcare West Medicare Advantage plans.  The Medicare Advantage and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (Dual Special Needs Plan) Prior Authorization Requirements list applies to UnitedHealthcare West non-capitated Medicare Advantage plans. 
Medicare News 
Noridian News
As a follow-up to Noridian’s Provider Outreach and Education (POE) Advisory Group (POEAG) meeting held on June 8, please review, complete and send your responses to nhsportalteam@noridian.com by June 25, 2021. An update will be provided during the September POEAG meeting.
Question: What do you like best about the Noridian Medicare Portal (NMP)?
POEAG Member Response:
Question: What are specific issues, concerns, or problems you’ve faced when using NMP?
POEAG Member Response:
Question: How significant is the problem or concern you have with NMP?
POEAG Member Response: 
Question: If you could add any feature to our product, what would it be? Why?
POEAG Member Response:
Thank you.
CMS News
June 28, 2021, 2:00pm PDT is the deadline for submitting comments to CMS on Key Takeaways: FY 2022 Medicare Hospital, Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Proposed Rule for Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-Cell Therapy and Hospital Market-Based Data Reporting. Comments must refer to CMS-1752-P. 
CMS has added new Quality Payment Program performance information for doctors, clinicians, groups, and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to the Doctors and Clinicians section of Medicare Care Compare and in the Provider Data Catalog (PDC). CMS is required to report MIPS eligible clinicians’ Final Scores, MIPS eligible clinicians’ performance under each MIPS performance category, names of eligible clinicians in Advanced APMs and, to the extent feasible, the names and performance of such Advanced APMs. Performance information for doctors and clinicians is displayed using measure-level star ratings, percent performance scores, and checkmarks. Visit the Care Compare: Doctors & Clinicians Initiative page for details about the 2019 QPP performance information that has been added to Care Compare profile pages and the PDC.
National News
And so it continues. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, met with five moderate House Democrats last week to discuss a bipartisan approach to lowering prescription drug prices, and one of the bills reportedly discussed was Grassley's 2019 Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act, co-written with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. That legislation would cap Medicare drug price increases at the rate of inflation, but Wyden is developing a revision that would also allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
State and local laws are changing rapidly. Employers may be subject to state and local mask mandates, state and local COVID-19 workplace safety guidance, and industry-specific guidance. Reach out to your local health department or state agency to determine if any mandates apply to your business before creating your masking policy. But if you’re considering adding a Masking Policy to your employee handbook. Or maybe you already have one and are looking to revise it given vaccination rates in your area. Whatever the reason, this guide will walk you through considerations to craft the perfect masking policy for your business.
The 340B program increased to $38B in 2020. This is up by 27% from 2019. The 2020 amount from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). A pharmaceutical economic analysis think tank, Drug Channels received the information by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was just answered last week. 
United Healthcare has published their Newsletter for healthcare providers with important information on: How to get paid faster for lab claims and speed up Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) claims processing with Smart Edits; NPI numbers are required for claims submitted when ordering or referring select labs; Internet Explorer will no longer be supported, and 21 link tools have been moved to the provider portal.
Measures to make mass-gathering indoor events possible, during Covid-19, are explored in a new research article published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The article describes a randomized trial of same-day SARS-CoV-2 antigen test screening. Mass screening was done on the morning of a live concert in Spain and participants with a negative test result either attended the concert or continued with their lives as normal. The findings were that people who attended the concert were not at higher risk of infection, despite the lack of physical distancing. This tentatively shows that, with a little innovation, it’s possible to return to some semblance of pre-pandemic normality. 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) released revised reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. Updates include expanding the amount of time providers will have to report information, efforts to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extending key deadlines for expending PRF payments for recipients who received payments after June 30, 2020.
Affiliate Association News
ANCO News
Connecting with MOASC: Re-opening of California, and what it means for Oncologists. Thursday, July 15, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm, Speakers - Dr. Truong, ANCO President and Dr. Lashkari, MOASC President.
ANCO is in the beginning stages of planning for their Professional Education Conference for the Fall of 2021. Please take a few moments and help with their planning by completing this very short, 4-question survey. Thank you!
ASH News
Join ASH on June 24, at 2:30 pm PDT, in a new webinar covering Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters as a treatment for venous thromboembolism (VTE). The purpose of this webinar is to: Educate hematologists, hospitalists, and surgeons on the appropriate indications for IVC filters and complications associated with their usage; Identify the appropriate indications for placement of IVC filters; Describe the complications associated with placement of IVC filters, and discuss the benefits of an institutional system-based tracking system for IVC filter use and retrieval.
COA News
COA is working with a coalition of groups to get CMS to rescind the 2018 Trump administration memo allowing step therapy for Part B drugs in MA plans. In April COA signed on to a letter to CMS (link) on the issue. CMS has replied asking for specific examples of times when patient care was delayed, or patients were harmed because of the change in policy. 
 
Does your practice have any compelling patient stories specific to the problems with step therapy in MA part B since 2018? If so, please share them! COA will be compiling stories with the other groups for CMS as we seek to get the change overturned.
Send your step-therapy stories to: Nicolas Ferreyros, Director of Communications, Community Oncology Alliance, nferreyros@coacancer.org
Industry News
CURE® | Targeted Oncology have confirmed another virtual roundtable for the southern California region.
B-Cell Lymphoma: New Approaches for Relapsed/Refractory DLBCL will be moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Budde (City of Hope) on Wednesday, July 14th at 7:00-8:30pmPDT.
Dr. Budde, a thought leader in the field, will discuss pathology report findings, patient diagnostic workup, the most likely diagnosis and potential treatment options for a few case studies.
This program is open to, and intended for, oncologists treating B-Cell Lymphoma.
The audience is encouraged to ask questions and discuss as the cases are presented. Attendees are paid $400 of compensation by Healthcare Research Analytics® for their attendance, participation & completion of the post-event HRA survey. 
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.