News from Washington
Congress Working on Legislation to Provide Permanent Medicare Physician Payment Solution
Members in the House of Representatives are developing legislative proposals to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to calculate annual Medicare payment adjustments to physicians. New proposals focus on stabilizing payments for an extended period of time and tying future increases to quality performance. Read more.
News from CMS
Medicare Announces Bundled Payment Initiative
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the selection of over 500 providers to participate in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative. This initiative, a component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is designed to test how bundling payments for episodes of care can result in more coordinated care for beneficiaries and lower costs for Medicare. Read more.
Medicare Releases Rule on Sunshine Act; Data Collection Begins August 1
On February 1, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule for the National Physician Payment Transparency Progam: Open Payments, or “The Sunshine Act.” The new rule requires that manufacturers of drugs, medical supplies, devices, and biologicals covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to report payment or other transfers of value to physicians and teaching hospitals to CMS. This data will then be posted to a public website. The rule also requires that manufacturers and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) disclose physician ownership or investment interest to CMS. Read more.
News from the FDA
FDA Approves Generic Version of Doxil; Approval is Expected to Help Resolve Ongoing Shortage
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first generic version Doxil (doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome injection). Doxil has been on the FDA’s drug shortage list for over a year. For products on the shortage list, the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs is using a priority review system to expedite the review of generic applications to help alleviate shortages. The generic of doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome injection is made by Sun Pharma Global FZE (Sun). The FDA expects that the Sun generic supply will be available in approximately one month in the form of 20 mg and 50 mg vials. Go to the ASH drug shortage information page to find out how to access the current supply of Doxil and read more about drug shortages. Read more about the FDA’s approval of generic version doxorubicin hydrochloride liposome injection.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Pomalidomide for Patients Previously Treated for Multiple Myeloma
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to pomalidomide (POMALYST® capsules, Celgene Corporation) for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior therapies, including lenalidomide and bortezomib, and have demonstrated disease progression on or within 60 days of completion of the last therapy. Read more.
News from ASH
ASH and FDA Convene Workshops on Minimal Residual Disease in CLL and AML
ASH and the Food and Drug Administration are cosponsoring two public workshops that will provide a forum for discussion of extending the qualification of minimal residual disease (MRD) detection as a prognostic biomarker to that of an efficacy/response biomarker in evaluating new drugs for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Read more.
CMS’ PQRS Reporting Deadline is March 13; 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 deadline for 2012 reporting is March 13, 2013. 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.
Become familiar with the PQRS process now, in order to avoid the upcoming penalty phase. Your successful participation in PQRS in 2013 and 2014 not only impacts your eligibility for the bonus payment, but will also help you avoid the penalty in 2015 and 2016. CMS currently plans to base the penalties in 2015 and 2016 on the 2013 and 2014 reporting years. Read more or learn more about the PQRS reporting system on a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at Noon EST.
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.
Now Available: 2012 ASH Annual Meeting On-Demand Webcasts
Full access to all webcasts of the 2012 ASH Annual Meeting’s Education Program sessions and special lectures is now available for purchase. You also have an option to purchase individual sessions of interest, including Practice Forum and Special Symposium on Quality Improvement - A Toolkit for Hematology Practice. Users will be able to access audio and video recordings of the presentations while viewing associated color slides. Full access pricing is $195 for members and $375 for non-members. Visit the ASH website for more details and information on how to purchase.
Earn CME Credits fromBlood
ASH, in partnership with Medscape, provides monthly opportunities to earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits by completing an Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) accredited activity in Blood. This month's activity is titled "The Clinical Significance of NOTCH1 and SF3B1 Mutations in the UK LRF CLL4 Trial."
back to top