February 2024 CPAN News Bulletin


Advocacy Chats – Educational Conversations on Cancer Advocacy and Policy Issues

February 14: Cancer Wellness – A Focus on the Importance of Supportive Care
Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and other direct treatments are keys to fighting and removing cancer from a patient’s body—but physical needs aren’t the only variables to consider. Join COA’s Director of Patient Advocacy and Education Rose Gerber, MS, and New York Cancer & Blood Specialists’ Chief of Wellness Services MaryAnn Fragola, DNP, ANPc, ACHPN, to explore cancer wellness and the role of care support on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at 12:00 p.m. ET. Register here.

ICYMI: COA’s Crystal Ball: What to Expect from Cancer Policy in 2024
Congress is considering comprehensive pharmacy benefit manager regulation, insurers are facing criticism for making care decisions with artificial intelligence, and COA is pursuing a lawsuit to restore patients’ ability to have critical medications delivered to their home. COA’s Executive Director Ted Okon, MBA, Managing Director Nick Ferreyros, and Rose Gerber, MS, discuss all things policy during the first Advocacy Chat of the year. Stream it on @OncologyCOA’s YouTube channel.

Patients and Cancer Survivors

SAVE THE DATE – May 8, 2024 | COA Capitol Hill Day, Washington, D.C.
Patients and cancer survivors* (treated in a community oncology practice) are invited to join us on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

*Targeted states and specific criteria will be provided at a later date.

Advocacy Spotlight

David Eagle, MD/Past President, COA, Chief of Legislative Affairs and Patient Advocacy, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, East Patchogue, N.Y.

Standing up for what’s best for patients is at the heart of community oncology. It’s what drove David Eagle, MD, to join COA two decades ago.

Dr. Eagle was early in his career when the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) passed, a policy with potentially grave implications for his own practice and the millions of people that depended on community oncology for their cancer care.

“It was critical for community oncology to raise its collective voice during an existential moment for patients and providers across the country,” Dr. Eagle said. “Our advocacy was integral to keeping both my practice and community oncology alive.”

Through a unified voice, the advocacy efforts of Dr. Eagle and countless others shaped the MMA to support an environment where community oncology could thrive and serve patients in the preferred treatment setting: within their community.

Dr. Eagle holds the same sentiment 20 years later. The cancer policy landscape remains ever-changing, as federal and state policymakers, along with middlemen insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, increasingly dictate cancer care decisions. Dr. Eagle believes that by bringing every voice to the table, COA can continue to shape policies that preserve and advance community oncology.

• To learn about COA and CPAN advocates and their commitment to protecting locally delivered cancer care, visit CPAN’s Advocates & Their Stories page.

Cancer News You Can Use

How A Stark Law Interpretation Could Be Harming Independent Physicians
Becker’s ASC Review 02/07
A 2021 interpretation of Stark law prohibits medication delivery from independent physician practices, which is in turn affecting patient care, according to a Jan. 30 report in JCO Oncology Practice written by three oncologists. Many independent practices are now finding themselves in violation of Stark law because they operate using medically integrated specialty pharmacies to deliver medications to patients by mail or courier.

Cervical Cancer Deaths Rise Among Low-Income Americans
Axios 01/26
Women in low-income regions of the Unites States are experiencing significantly more cases and deaths from cervical cancer despite an overall decline of the disease, according to a new study in the International Journal of Cancer. The existence of an effective and widely available vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV)—the source of virtually all cervical cancers—makes the disparity all the more troubling, researchers say.

New Cancer Cases Projected To Top 2 Million, Hit Record High In 2024
U.S. News & World Report 01/17
The number of new cancer cases in the United States is expected to top 2 million for the first time in 2024, based on new research that also points to shifting age patterns among cancer patients and a troubling increase in overall cancer incidence among people younger than 50. The American Cancer Society’s latest statistical report, released on Wednesday, says the country’s cancer mortality rate fell by 33% from 1991 through 2021.

CPAN – The COA Patient Advocacy Network

Every person living with cancer deserves access to the high-quality, personal care that community oncology provides. Learn why Rose Gerber, MS, COA’s director of patient advocacy and education, leads the COA Patient Advocacy Network, and how the network of more than 15,000 advocates works to ensure all patients can receive the best cancer care possible. – Watch the video

Resources for Chapters

Missed last month’s Advocacy Chat? Want to catch up on the latest happenings in oncology and the cancer policy landscape? Visit CPAN’s Advocacy Chat Library to learn about expected policy developments for 2024, the importance of clinical trials, health equity, and more.

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