News from Washington
One-Year 'Doc Fix' Included in Fiscal Cliff Package
The fiscal cliff legislation passed by the Congress on January 1 includes a one-year payment patch for physicians who treat Medicare patients. The legislation also defers sequestration cuts for two months that included an additional two percent cut in Medicare payments. The deal (HR 8) would block scheduled 27 percent payment cuts to Medicare physicians that were scheduled to start January 1, and keep rates frozen at current levels for one year. ASH encourages all practitioners to join the Society in continuing to pressure Congress to repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula permanently.
News from CMS
Deadline to Request Exemption from ePrescribing Penalty Extended to January 31
Physicians have until January 31, 2013 to file for a Medicare ePrescribing hardship exemption and avoid the 1.5 percent payment penalty in 2013. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has re-opened the Communications Support Web page to allow physicians who missed the June 30, 2012 deadline to file for an exemption.
Physicians may request a waiver of the 2013 penalty under any of the following categories:
- The physician is unable to ePrescribe as a result of local, state or federal law or regulation.
- The physician wrote fewer than 100 prescriptions during the period of January 1 - June 30, 2012.
- The physician practices in a rural area that doesn't have sufficient high-speed Internet access.
- The physician practices in an area that doesn't have enough pharmacies that can do ePrescribing.
CMS also added two hardship categories for those participating in Medicare's electronic health record meaningful use program. Physicians do not need to apply for an exemption related to these meaningful use hardship categories; CMS will automatically determine whether physicians meet those requirements. Read more.
CMMI Unveils List of 48 'Episodes' For Bundled Payment Program
The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) released a preliminary list of 48 "episodes of care" from which providers participating in the Bundled Payment for Care Improvement (BPIC) initiative may choose. Red blood cell disorders are included on the preliminary list. CMS had originally planned to allow each participating provider to define its own episodes, but the agency has reconsidered and will now require the providers to choose from this standardized list of episodes. CMMI says payments will be made at the fee-for-service rate, after which aggregate Medicare payment for episodes will be reconciled against target prices. Read more.
News from the FDA
Drug Shortage Update: Newly Manufactured DOXIL (doxorubicin HCl liposome injection) Released
Janssen Products, LP, announced it is coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration to create additional supply of DOXIL (Doxorubicin HCl Liposome Injection) using an alternative manufacturing process. Janssen reports that it is manufacturing the drug through a new manufacturing process involving collaboration between Ben Venue Laboratories and another supplier. This manufacturing process has not been approved by the FDA but Janssen has said that is working with the agency to seek approval and ensure a consistent supply. The FDA is currently exercising its regulatory discretion for making Janssen's DOXIL 20 mg/10 mL vials available. Read more Drug Shortage Information.
FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to Ponatinib to Treat Adult Patients with Chronic Phase, Accelerated Phase, or Blast Phase CML or Ph+ALL
On December 14, 2012, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to ponatinib (Iclusig™ tablets, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) for the treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) that is resistant or intolerant to prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy or Philadelphia chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ALL) that is resistant or intolerant to prior tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Read more.
FDA Approves Eliquis to Reduce the Risk of Stroke, Blood Clots in Patients with Non-Valvular Atrial Fibrillation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban), an oral tablet used to reduce the risk of stroke and dangerous blood clots (systemic embolism) in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem. Read more.
News from ASH
ASH's 2012 Clinical Practice Guide on Red Blood Cell Transfusion is Available
ASH's newest pocket-sized quick reference guide on red blood cell transfusion is now available. The guide was adapted from "Red Blood Cell Transfusion: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the AABB" Ann Intern Med. 2012; 157: 49-58. To obtain hard copies of the ASH 2012 Clinical Practice Guide on Red Blood Cell Transfusion, please contact Patrick Irelan at email@example.com. Below is a complete list of previously published pocket guides:
ASH also has developed mobile downloads of the pocket guides on Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT), Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), and von Willebrand Disease (VWD) so that you can easily access information from your smart phones and tablets.
Register Today for one of the Upcoming 2013 Highlights of ASH in North America
- January 18 - 19: San Diego, CA and Toronto, Canada
- January 25 - 26: Dallas, TX and New York, NY
- February 1 - 2: Miami, FL and San Francisco, CA
As a member of the ASH practice community, ASH wants to remind you about the upcoming 2013 Highlights of ASH meetings that may be of interest to you or your colleagues. Attend a meeting to:
- Examine advances in clinical and translational hematologic research
- Evaluate the role of new diagnostic techniques and therapeutic approaches as applied to the care and management of people with blood diseases
- Discuss new patient management and care strategies with leading faculty
Upcoming Deadlines (Extended):
*Simultaneous translation from English into Spanish will be available at the meeting in Dallas
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