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Topic: CMS Depriving our Medicare Seniors?

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: Oct 17, 2007 08:09AM - edited Mar 19, 2008 12:55PM by TenderIsOurMight

TenderIsOurMight wrote:


If the Center for Medicare Services has it's way, our Seniors will potentially be deprived of participating in breast cancer clinical trials with ease. Since 2000, CMS has cooperated with Medicare payment for enrollment in Senior trials, but now it is attempting to roll back to pre-2000 rules.

As our population is living longer, and living longer with cancer, it seems silly to be going backwards in trials for seniors. If anything, we should be going forward, and since 2000, Seniors have shown their desire to do so by enrolling in much needed studies on treatment effects for cancer.

Here is a summary on this, as well as links to how you can join a congressional letter to CMS, urging them NOT to undo the good done since 2000. Remember, it's our tax money and we have a great say.

And Seniors with breast cancer, we're watching your back!

URGENT- Potential Changes in Medicare Coverage for Clinical Trials

In 2000, the cancer community, in partnership with the White House and Congress, successfully changed the policy governing coverage of routine costs associated with clinical trials for Medicare beneficiaries. Prior to that policy change Medicare beneficiaries were not provided consistent coverage of clinical trials, which are often the best option for patients diagnosed with cancer. Since the policy was changed, more seniors are participating in clinical trials.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued regulations that could end this coverage, by changing the process through which trials are deemed eligible for Medicare coverage. It is critical that members of the United States Senate hear from concerned men and women about the negative impact changing this policy could have on older Americans in the Medicare program and their ability to access cutting-edge cancer care through clinical trials.

Senators Ben Cardin (MD) and Sam Brownback (KS) are circulating a letter to CMS officials. Please call your US Senators ( click here to locate your Senator) and urge them to sign-on by adding their names to the letter being generated by Senators Brownback and Cardin. ( click here to view letter being circulated by Senators Cardin and Brownback opposing the CMS proposed regulation changes)

To add your name to the Senators letter, please contact Priscilla Ross in Senator Cardin's office at Priscilla_Ross@cardin.senate.gov or Melanie Benning at Senator Brownback's office at Melanie_Benning@brownback.senate.gov

Link to letter:www.vocus.com/images/gr/preven...

Alert through: Prevent Cancer Foundation, 1600 Duke Street, Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314 United States

Let's stay involved in many good ways!
Tender

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Oct 17, 2007 12:12PM - edited Mar 19, 2008 12:55PM by TenderIsOurMight



Just going to bump this a few times due to urgency of action. This is serious stuff, as it may set a Medicaid, Medicare precedent that's difficult to reverse.

The research, news, topics is the last in the item list, and tough to get to, imo.

Maybe we could consider it moving up as it has a lot of good stuff?

Thanks all,
Tender

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Oct 17, 2007 03:28PM roseg wrote:

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued regulations that could end this coverage, by changing the process through which trials are deemed eligible for Medicare coverage.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask what the differences are? Is there any information on that anywhere?  

Rose
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Oct 17, 2007 04:31PM - edited Mar 19, 2008 12:55PM by TenderIsOurMight


Hi Rose,

Excellent point! Here is a position paper link, with brief synopsis of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's white paper on the proposal and it's effect. The main objection, as I understand it, is that each patient would have to be re-evaluated for proper fit to a clinical trial, according to Medicare criteria, which are more stringent, for payment to be approved.

"In comments to CMS, ASCO reiterated its concerns about the Agency’s proposed revisions to the Medicare clinical trials coverage policy. CMS’s proposal to change deemed or automatic coverage of NCI-sponsored and FDA-reviewed trials to a requirement for self-certification according to 13 standards has great potential to decrease participation of the Medicare population in clinical trials."

and link to ASCO white paper: www.asco.org/ASCO/Downloads/Re...

I thought I might add Nancy Davidson's recent words on NIH cancer funding, since she is so well known at Johns Hopkins Hospital oncology and through her publications, and now as the President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It's not addressing the same topic, but the theme is the same:

""The long-term federal investment in cancer research is paying off," said Dr. Nancy Davidson, president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"But this impressive pace of progress will slow if we don't recommit to funding cancer research. Adjusted for inflation, cancer research funding has actually declined 12 percent since 2004 -- this has never happened in our nation's history," Davidson added in a statement.

"Without additional funding, the chance to build on the extraordinary progress to date, and provide new treatments for 1.4 million Americans diagnosed with cancer every year, will be delayed or lost."

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has asked for a nearly 7 percent increase in the National Institutes of Health budget."

October 15, 2007 Reuters News: Cancer Deaths Continue to Fall

Tender

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Oct 17, 2007 05:12PM - edited Mar 19, 2008 12:55PM by TenderIsOurMight


Well, this just came across the transom! Tender

Your Voices Were Heard!

Dear Advocate,

The decision for the Clinical Trial Policy was released this morning. Medicare officials have decided, "no change to the July 9, 2007 policy is appropriate at this time and therefore, we are not imposing any additional conditions of coverage."

NCCS is pleased that this threat to seniors’ access to clinical trials has been removed -- we could not have done it without the support of the Cancer Advocacy Now! network.

Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) had asked fellow Senators to join them in protesting a proposal that would reverse the Medicare clinical trial policy that has been in place since 2000. The current policy guarantees Medicare coverage of patient care costs for beneficiaries who enroll in clinical trials. This policy has boosted the participation of senior citizens in clinical studies, which are sometimes a patient’s best treatment option. Our network’s calls to Senators had a clear impact on Medicare’s decision to retain the current policy

You can read more about this decision on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services web site.

You can also read the Cardin-Brownback “Dear Colleague” letter and their letter to the Acting Administration of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at www.canceradvocacy.org/cardin-...

Your voices are crucial to the protection of quality cancer care for all Americans. Thank you for your participation.

-NCCS Staff (October 17, 2007)

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)

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