COMING SOON: AMA RUC Survey of the Infusion and Chemotherapy Services
In the next few weeks, ASH in collaboration with multiple specialty societies, will randomly distribute an American Medical Association Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) survey of the infusion CPT codes 96365, 96366, 96367, 96368 and the chemotherapy infusion CPT codes 96413, 96415 and 96417. These services are utilized widely by our members and we need your assistance, to assure the relative value units (RVUs) are accurately and fairly presented to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This is important to you and other physicians because the RVUs determine the rate at which Medicare and other payers reimburse for services and procedures. The surveys will run from November 5th thru November 21st, 2012. Read more.
News About ASH Annual Meeting
Please join us at the following special practice-related events at the ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition:
- Special Symposium: Quality Improvement – A Toolkit for Hematology Practice
Saturday, December 8, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Georgia World Congress Center (A103)
- Practice Forum – Hematology in Cyberspace: Benefiting from New Technologies and Social Networking
Saturday, December 8, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., International Ballroom D, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- Practice Forum Reception
Saturday, December 8, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., International Ballroom A-B, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- ASH Practice Partnership Lunch (RSVP Required)
Sunday, December 9, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom A, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
- 2012 Consultative Hematology Course (Ticketed Event)
Monday, December 10, from 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., International Ballroom D-F, Omni Hotel at CNN Center
For more details and registration information about these practice-related events, read more.
News from Washington
ASH Grassroots Network Readies for Fall SGR Battle
The ASH Grassroots Network is mobilizing for the next fight in Congress to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. Even with politicians hot on the campaign trail and primarily focused on the fast approaching November elections, ASH continues to remind lawmakers that yet another deadline looms large. Unless Congress acts, physicians again face a cut in Medicare reimbursement payments on January 1. ASH members are strongly encouraged to use the ASH Advocacy Center to email their Representative and Senators and stay up to date on the status of relevant legislation.
News from the FDA
Hematologic Drug Shortage Updates
Mustargen and Doxil Supplies Available in the United States
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration and manufacturers of Mustargen (Lundbeck) and Doxil (Janssen Products, LP) reported to ASH that both products are once again available in the United States.
- Doxil (doxorubicin HCl liposome injection) – The product was in shortage for over a year and Janssen Products, LP, announced that it has restored full access to Doxil. As Janssen transitions from the allocation program reserve to newly manufactured product, only 20 mg vials will be available. Information regarding the status of the 50 mg vial will be provided as it becomes available. With this new access, Janssen Products, LP, has suspended its DOXIL C.A.R.E.S. Physician Access Program. Doxil orders can be placed through normal distribution channels. For a list of approved distributors, visit www.jom.com/products.html and select "Doxil." Additional details and directions for physicians can be found in the Dear Healthcare Professional Letter.
- Mustargen (mechlorethamine HCL for injection) – The product was in shortage due to manufacturing-related problems, but Lundbeck does not anticipate any further supply problems. The therapy can be ordered using the NDC number 67386-91151 or looking Mustargen up in your wholesaler’s system. Read more.
New Shortage of Sodium Bicarbonate Injection
- Sodium Bicarbonate Injection – Hospira, APP, and Amphastar report a shortage of Sodium Bicarbonate Injection. All companies direct healthcare providers to check with their wholesaler for available inventory. Read more.
Read more information about the status of additional hematologic drug shortages, ASH advocacy efforts, and resources for physicians dealing with shortages.
FDA Approves New Dosing and Administration Information for Rituximab
On October 19, 2012, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved a 90-minute infusion for rituximab (Rituxan® Injection, Genentech, Inc.) starting at Cycle 2 for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) who did not experience a grade 3 or 4 infusion-related adverse reaction during Cycle 1. Patients with clinically significant cardiovascular disease and high circulating lymphocyte counts (>5000/mcL) are not recommended to receive the faster infusion. Read more.
News from Medicare
Quality Reporting Communication Support Page Open November 1 through January 31 for Medicare 2013 Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Payment Adjustment Hardship Exemption Requests
Beginning November 1, 2012, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will re-open the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page to allow individual eligible professionals and CMS-selected group practices the opportunity to request a significant hardship exemption for the 2013 eRx payment adjustment. Significant hardship request should be submitted via the Quality Reporting Communication Support Page on or between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013. Eligible professionals are encouraged to review the MLN Matters Article SE1206: 2012 eRx Incentive Program: Future Payment Adjustments for more information, including who may be subject to the eRx payment adjustment and how to avoid the eRx payment adjustment. Additional information and resources are available on the CMS eRx Incentive program web page.
CMS Released Two Hematology-Related National Coverage Determinations (NCD)
- NCD for Blood-Derived Products for Chronic Non-Healing Wounds
CMS issued an NCD which allows coverage of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) under coverage with evidence development (CED) with certain conditions. The complete determination is available on the CMS website.
- NCD for Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) for the Treatment of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) Following Lung Allograft Transplantation
CMS issued an NCD which allows coverage of Extracorporeal Photopheresis (ECP) for the treatment of Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) following lung allograft transplantation under Coverage with Evidence Development (CED) with certain conditions. The complete determination is available on the CMS website.
News from ASH
ASH Offers PQRS Reporting Tool to Help Hematologists Obtain PQRS Bonus Payment
ASH is pleased offer a web-based tool to help hematologists obtain the 0.5 percent incentive payment for reporting quality measures on Medicare patients during calendar year 2012. The ASH-branded registry, PQRIwizardSM will assist hematologists in satisfactorily reporting data on quality measures under the CMS PQRS. The PQRIwizardSM features 25 quality measures in the areas of hematology, oncology, and general medicine, including ASH's four hematology measures on myelodysplastic syndrome, acute leukemias, multiple myeloma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The PQRIwizardSM is similar to online tax preparation software and will make reporting easier. The cost of PQRIwizardSM is $299. Read more.
Take Advantage of ASH's Consult a Colleague Service
Consult a Colleague is a service for ASH members that helps facilitate the exchange of information between hematologists and their peers. The full list of available categories is below:
- Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
- Lymphoproliferative Disorders
- Multiple Myeloma & Waldenström's Macroglobulinemia
- Myeloproliferative Disorders
- Myelodysplastic Syndromes
To learn more or to submit a request, visit www.hematology.org/consult. Assigned Colleagues will respond to inquiries within two business days either by email or phone.
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