A Report from the AMA House of Delegates
In the first weekend of June in Chicago, representatives from medical specialty societies and state medical societies convened a meeting of the semi-annual American Medical Association (AMA)
House of Delegates. The House of Delegates is composed of more than 500 physician representatives, and they consider resolutions covering a wide gamut of issues, such as health information technology, maintenance of certification, and menu labeling for food allergies. ASH was represented at the meeting this year. Follow the link to read more.
ASH Supports Request by ASBMT and NMDP to Expand Medicare Coverage for Stem Cell Transplant
In online comments submitted to CMS, ASH strongly supported expanding the coverage indications for the use of hematopoietic stem cell transplant for patients covered by Medicare. Under the current coverage determination, some conditions, such as myelodysplastic syndromes, are covered under a policy called Coverage with Evidence Development (CED), which allows for Medicare coverage in exchange for the provision of certain clinical data. The request that ASH supported aims to move three conditions from the category of not being named at all into the category of being covered nationwide - sickle cell disease, myelofibrosis, and lymphoma. Follow the link above to learn more.
NIH Seeks Information on Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies to Improve the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research
The NIH has released a request for information soliciting input on the possible development of new policies and strategies to improve the impact and sustainability of its funded biomedical research enterprise. ASH members are encouraged to submit comments in response to this request.
CMS Issues Guidance on Biosimilar Reimbursement and Formulary Policy
On March 30, the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two documents on Medicare
Part B and Part D payment for biosimilars that are relevant to hematology. On March 6, 2015, the FDA)approved filgrastim-sndz (ZARXIO Injection, Sandoz Inc.),
as a biosimilar to U.S.-licensed Neupogen, which is important to hematologic
therapy. Some of the most important
regimens for the treatment of patients with
hematologic disorders are biologic, so the release of this information is helpful for the field.