ASCO Coverage for Community Physicians

OBTNJuly 2008
Volume 2
Issue 7

This issue of Oncology & Biotech News presents significant sessions and posters from the 44th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) plus stories on drive-through breast cancer surgery centers, cancer patients' out-of-pocket costs, and more.

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The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO’s) Annual Meeting brings together oncologists and researchers from around the world to discuss quality care and improving patient outcomes. At this year’s 44th Annual Meeting in Chicago, more than 30,000 oncology professionals came together to learn about the latest advances in oncology and discuss the challenges confronting them and opportunities available to them. This issue of Oncology & Biotech News presents some of the more significant sessions and posters from the meeting. Our goal with covering ASCO is to provide relevant information for the practicing oncologist. Please look through the pages of this issue to find significant news from the meeting as well as updates on ongoing clinical trials—research and data that are applicable in your daily practice.

Reimbursement and Managed Care

Also in this month’s issue, our department highlights two stories of particular interest to the community-based oncologist. The first story discusses a Congressional hearing that took place in May, which made clear that U.S. Representatives do not like the idea of drive-through breast cancer surgery centers. Although 20 states already have minimum stay bills in place, breast cancer patient advocates claim that federal legislation is needed to bring the rest of the states in line. The proposal, the Breast Cancer Patient Protect Action of 2007, has 219 sponsors and bipartisan support. A similar bill in the Senate (S.B. 459) has 19 sponsors at this time.

In another managed care article, we discuss the costs associated with oncologic therapies, which can be a significant burden on patients. Even with health insurance, many treatments are on coinsurance tiers, whereby the patient pays a percentage of total cost. In a study from HealthCore, researchers sought to determine how much patients with commercial insurance pay out-of-pocket to treat their cancer. Although the study covered a population with health insurance, it is a particularly worrisome trend that patients are paying far more out of their own wallets and purses than they were in the past for oncological care.

We’re interested in your opinion on these and other articles in Oncology & Biotech News. Please let us know if our publication continues to meet your needs.

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