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Healthcare legislation boosts future of cancer care services

Healthcare legislation boosts future of cancer care services

BALTIMORE—Oncology fared well under the new healthcare reform legislation without cuts to the core businesses of medical oncology, radiation oncology, office-administered drugs, and PET/PET-CT imaging, according to a presenter at the 2010 Association of Community Cancer Centers meeting.

The new legislation will spend $940 billion over ten years to expand private insurance coverage and expand the privately insured patient population including those who require cancer care, said Matt Brow, vice president of government relations and public policy for US Oncology, based in the Woodlands, Tex.

Mr. Brow pointed out some of the provisions that directly affect oncology care:

Practices can voluntarily participate in accountable care organizations (ACOs) that will manage and coordinate care across settings. Lower cost or the use of equally effective regimens will be rewarded. ACOs can consist of physician groups, networks of physician groups, and joint ventures between a hospital and physicians.
The CMS Innovation Center, a testing ground for new payment models, will align nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines of cancer care with Medicare payment incentives for treatment planning and follow-up care for Medicare beneficiaries.
Insurance company coverage of routine costs associated with participation in a clinical trial, which may increase trial participation.
New fees on medical device manufacturers such as higher costs for such equipment as linear accelerators.

Source: "Healthcare Reform: How Does Oncology Fare?," www.accc-cancer.org
 
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