WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) hosted a "State of the Union" briefing on the state of community oncology at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. More than 100 representatives of national cancer care, patient advocacy, provider, and industry organizations heard updates on national oncology issues, COA's policy priorities for 2017, the Trump administration, and the 115th Congress.
Attendees learned the latest about COA's industry leading initiatives that support community oncology practices and, most importantly, the patients they serve. These include ongoing initiatives to support community oncology practice administrators (COA Administrators Network, CAN), patient advocates (COA Patient Advocacy Network, CPAN), pharmacists (Community Oncology Pharmacy Association, COPA), nurses (COA Advanced Practice Provider Network, CAPP), the Oncology Care Model (COA OCM Support Network), and the Oncology Medical Home (OMH).
At the briefing, COA also presented its four specific priorities for 2017 and challenged attendees to work together to advance them. These include:
- Ending the sequester cut to Medicare drug payments. CMS did not have the legal or constitutional authority to impose the sequester cut, it is not supported by statute, bypasses Congress, and prices drugs below cost. Read more in COA's legal and constitutional analysis of the sequester cut.
- Moving oncology payment reform forward. COA will continue to help practices participating in the OCM succeed and thrive, but is also looking to the future and how the model can be made better. Additionally, COA is pursuing re-introduction of oncology payment reform bills in the House and Senate. Learn more about the COA OCM work.
- Protecting patients from Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) and the many problems for patient care and practices. COA remains committed to taking on PBM restrictions on where patients can get their drugs, addressing the "DIR Fees" being collected only for profit, and shining a light on how PBMs are driving up costs for patients and the health care system. Read COA's latest White Paper about PBMs.
- Stopping the runaway growth and abuse of the 340B Drug Discount Program in hospitals. The well-intentioned 340B program has been abused by many hospitals to be more about profits than patients. It is driving consolidation in our cancer care system, pushing care into the much more expensive hospital system, costing seniors and Medicare more. COA believes that there should be transparency and accountability for hospitals accessing the 340B program, so that patients in need are the ones receiving the benefits. Find out the latest data on the runaway growth of 340B and its impact on cancer care.
Following the main discussion, in-depth sessions were held for attendees to learn about challenges practices are facing in the OCM, COA's proposals for how to move the model forward, and how the entire cancer care community can provide input. Another in-depth discussion provided updates on COA's latest investigatory White Paper on PBMs and ways patients are being impacted by them. Patient and advocacy groups were also invited to discuss COA's plans to significantly expand the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) and explore opportunities to partner on future advocacy efforts.
About Community Oncology Alliance: The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), a non-profit organization, is the leader in advocating for patients and their providers in the community cancer care setting, where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. The mission of COA is ensure that cancer patients receive quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care, in their own communities, that is physician directed. Learn more about at www.CommunityOncology.org.
SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance