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Advocacy Blogs

April 2024

CMS Releases National Coverage Determination for Allogenic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for MDS

On March 29, ASH, ASTCT, and NMDP sent a letter to all Medicare Advisory Carrier (MAC) Medical Directors to inform them that they may be experiencing an influx of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS) cases that were covered under a previous Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) policy, and that the MACs have the discretion to cover these cases under the new National Coverage Decision (NCD) on HSCT for MDS that was released on March 6. The NCD removed coverage with evidence development criteria and created revised coverage indications for MDS. Click here for an analysis of the decision.

ASH Sends Letter to FDA on CAR-T Therapies

In mid-March as a response to member concerns, ASH sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in advance of the March 15th Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee’s (ODAC) review of T cell malignancy risk and other topics related to the safety and efficacy of these therapies. ASH commended the Agency for taking important steps to evaluate and respond to the recently discovered secondary malignancies following treatment with CAR T-cell therapies. ASH also underscored the importance of long-term follow-up and monitoring for innovative therapies; the need for balanced and comprehensive communication and education; and noted that ASH is exploring the possibility of convening stakeholders to identify ways to collectively address secondary malignancies resulting from CAR-T therapies.

ASH Joins Letter Opposing Legislation Prohibiting Federal Funding for Medical Schools with DEI Programs

ASH recently joined 26 other medical societies in sending a letter to Congress opposing legislative efforts, including the Embracing Anti-Discrimination, Unbiased Curriculum, and Advancing Truth in Education (EDUCATE) Act (H.R. 7725), that seek to prohibit medical schools from receiving federal funding (including participating in federal student loan programs), if they adopt policies and requirements relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The letter highlights the importance of DEI in medical education and the benefits these programs ultimately provide to patients.

ASH Joins Letter on the Protection of CDC COVID Relief Funds

ASH joined over 50 organizations in a letter urging the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to protect the COVID relief funds at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The COVID relief funds are critical to protecting public health and cutting funds would limit the ability to respond to national health security threats. This letter expresses concerns about potential rescissions to these funds in fiscal year 2024 and urges HHS and OMB not to cut the remaining emergency relief funds. Read the letter here.