News from Washington
Agreement Reached to Avert Cuts in Medicare Physician Payment for Remainder of 2012
Congressional negotiators have reached agreement on extending the payroll tax holiday, unemployment insurance benefits, and current Medicare physician payment rates for the next 10 months, through the end of 2012. In lieu of the 27.4 percent physician payment cut scheduled to take effect on March 1, a payment freeze will be effective through the end of the year. While Medicare reimbursement for physicians will be maintained at current rates for the remainder of the year, the agreement falls short of the multi-year fix or permanent repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula currently used to calculate annual payment rates. This means physicians will face another significant cut in payment rates for 2013 unless Congress again intervenes – an issue that will likely not be dealt with until after the November elections during a "lame duck" session of Congress. Read more.
HHS Announces Intent to Delay ICD-10 Compliance Date
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the initiation of a process to postpone the date by which certain health care entities are required to comply with ICD-10. According to HHS, this change in policy was prompted by President Obama’s goal of reducing regulatory burdens associated with medical care. ASH has advocated for delaying the implementation of ICD-10 and will provide more details on the new compliance date, as they become available. Read more.
Update on Hematologic Drug Shortages and News from the FDA
Progress Report on Drug Shortages: Doxil and Methotrexate Shortages Resolved
ASH advocacy to prevent and mitigate drug shortages continues to make progress. Read more about recent FDA announcements concerning methotrexate and doxil; ASH updates on hematologic drugs; ASH advocacy; and how to report a shortage.
News from ASH
2012 Highlights of ASH® Returns to Brazil
Date: May 18-19
Location: Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
This May, ASH is bringing clinical content from the Society's 53rd annual meeting to hematologists and hematologist-oncologists in Latin America. Presented by ASH and the Associação Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia, this meeting will provide unbiased analysis of research presented at the annual meeting and will feature world-renowned experts discussing the latest treatment options and their clinical applications.
Register today at the special early-bird online rate.
Keep Up-to-Date on All Issues Affecting Hematology by Following ASH on Twitter!
Get the latest updates on ASH activities and breaking news stories by following us at ASH_Hematology.
News from Blood
Powerful Myeloma Treatment Regimen Shows Promise for AL Amyloidosis
Two studies published on February 13 in Blood demonstrate preliminary success of an effective multiple myeloma (MM) regimen in patients with AL amyloidosis, a rare and devastating blood disease that results in deposition of damaging abnormal protein in critical organs of the body, including the kidneys, heart, liver, and intestines, and shares some characteristics with MM. Read more.
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