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ASCO - American Society of Clinical Oncology

12/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2021 12:43

ASCO Calls on Congress to Prevent Steep Medicare Cuts Before End of Year

Statement By Howard A. "Skip" Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO Board Chair of the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
For immediate release
December 3, 2021

"The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) calls on Congress to pass legislation that will prevent devastating reimbursement cuts to Medicare services set to begin on January 1. Failure to do so will significantly compromise patient access to lifesaving cancer care during an ongoing and unprecedented pandemic.

"Without congressional intervention, oncology care providers are facing a nearly 10% cut to Medicare reimbursement in 2022 due to the expiration of sequestration and pandemic relief, as well as the implementation of budget neutrality mandates. The financial strain of such drastic cuts could harm patient access to timely care, especially in communities that are already underserved. This situation will be made worse in light of screening delays caused by the pandemic, which are expected to lead to more late-stage cancer diagnoses requiring more advanced courses of treatment and supportive care.

"In addition to addressing cuts to Medicare reimbursement, it is imperative that Congress pass a full fiscal year 2022 funding package with robust increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The passage of another continuing resolution through February 18 stalls research funding, which amplifies the lost and delayed research that resulted from the pandemic."

About ASCO:

The Association for Clinical Oncology is a 501 (c)(6) organization that represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2019, the Association works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high-quality, affordable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more at www.ascoassociation.organd follow us on Twitter at @ASCO