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The New Year Brings Important Policy Changes That Benefit Patients

Monday, January 13, 2020

As we start a new year, the Cancer Support Community (CSC) is pleased to report on two exciting policy changes that promote the delivery of psychosocial care for cancer patients.

New Court Ruling Voids the Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate and Leaves Rest of Law in Limbo

Friday, December 20, 2019

On December 18, 2019, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate that all Americans have health insurance. The rest of the law will stay in place for now as it is sent back to the lower court that must now determine whether the other parts of the ACA can stand without the individual mandate.

While the ACA will remain the law of the land for now, it’s important for all people, including cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones, to understand what this ruling means for them.

Utilization Management: What Patients Need to Know

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

One of the major themes dominating health care discussions today is the fact that healthcare costs in the United States are proving unsustainable. Practices known as utilization management (UM) are one of the major ways the high cost of health care has been addressed. The Cancer Policy Institute at the CSC will be releasing a series of blogs aimed at educating patients about different UM practices and techniques. The upcoming blogs will contain information that patients need to know, including how that particular technique impacts access to care, as well as advocacy opportunities to address those barriers to care.

Read this first blog in the series to learn more about UM, the different practices and techniques, and how CSC is fostering conversations about UM.

The Belmont Report: What is it and how Does it Relate to Today’s Clinical Trials?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The quest to discover effective treatments and cures for diseases and conditions is a worthwhile and compelling goal. Scientific research is responsible for innovative breakthroughs that improve quality of life, extend survival, and even prove life-saving. But alongside the potential benefits of scientific research are the potential risks to the people who participate in the journey that makes breakthroughs possible. The Belmont Report identifies basic ethical principles for conducting research that involve human subjects and sets forth guidelines to assure these principles are followed throughout the research process. The Belmont Report is the result of over four years of meetings that began in 1976 and were conducted by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research (Commission). With the Food and Drug Reauthorization Act of 2017’s recent amendment of the term patient experience data to now include both “physical and psychosocial impacts of a disease or condition, or related therapy or clinical investigation,” it is a particularly relevant and important time to revisit the ethical principles established in the Belmont Report.

The High Cost of Five Percent: The Importance of Capping Annual Out-of-Pocket Prescription Drug Costs for Medicare Part D Beneficiaries

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Approximately 43 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part D - a voluntary outpatient benefit provided through private health insurance plans approved by the federal government. These plans assist seniors in affording their prescription medications. However, for people with complex and serious health conditions who depend on high-cost drugs, affording medications under Medicare Part D is becoming more and more difficult. Read our break-down of the different payment phases in Medicare Part D and an explanation of why imposing a cap (limit) on the amount beneficiaries pay out-of-pocket each year for prescription drugs is more important than ever.

Medicare Part D Cancer Drugs Continue to be Protected

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Medicare Part D is a voluntary outpatient prescription drug benefit to assist people in affording their prescription medications. Part D benefits are provided through private health insurance plans and approved by the federal government. Participants in Part D are able to choose between supplementing their traditional Medicare with a stand-alone prescription drug plan or a Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan that is part of and includes other aspects of Medicare. In November, 2018 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule for Part D that would have changed the special coverage protections for medications included in the six protected classes.

Storytelling: A Powerful Tool for Advocates

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Stories are universal tools to persuade and because of this, stories are excellent tools in an advocate’s toolbox. So, how can advocates prepare to tell their story?

Access to CAR T-Cell Therapies for Medicare Patients

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently released a National Coverage Analysis memo to decide how CMS will provide coverage for this innovative treatment. They have proposed coverage alongside a concept known as “evidence development.”

Welcoming Kim Czubaruk to the Cancer Support Community

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Cancer Support Community is proud to announce the newest team member of our Cancer Policy Institute. Please join us in welcoming Kim Czubaruk, the Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy.

Potential Changes to Medicare Part D Concerning Protected Classes has the Potential to Negatively Impact Cancer Care

Thursday, February 21, 2019

In November, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule that would allow for several changes to the protected classes policy in Medicare Part D. The Cancer Support Community is concerned that if these changes are allowed, patients may face barriers to the cancer treatments that are right for them

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