The mission of NNECOS is to promote the highest quality care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in our region through professional networking, education, and scientific research, as well as patient advocacy and public policy. 


Happy Holidays from NNECOS

The Board of Directors extends warm holiday greetings to the entire NNECOS community, wishing all safety and good health during this holiday season.
NNECOS Annual Meeting - Save the Date

As we look ahead with hopeful anticipation of the opportunity to gather in person for the postponed annual meeting in Burlington, Vermont, NNECOS leadership continues to closely monitor transmission rates of COVID in our communities, as well as the latest CDC guidelines and local regulations as we work on plans for the NNECOS Annual Meeting, January 28-29, 2022. 

Planned safety protocols are being developed with an emphasis on taking every precaution to preserve not only the health and safety of our attendees but also the patients for whom we provide care. With this goal in mind, we anticipate implementing the following minimum protocols for an in-person gathering.

All in-person attendees will be required to: 

  • provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, including a booster dose
  • wear a mask in any indoor, public meeting space
  • maintain established physical distancing protocols 
  • complete a daily health questionnaire before entering the meeting space

Parallel to our safety protocol development, we are also continuing to explore elements of virtual participation options for attendees who are not yet prepared to return to an in-person meeting environment.

To allow additional time to monitor COVID transmission rates and public health guidelines, registration is expected to open in mid-December. To learn more about the excellent educational program planned, view the agenda on our website

Additional updates will be provided on the NNECOS website as they become available. 

Annual Meeting Lodging Options - Reserve Today for Best Availability!

Thanks to the Hilton's generous cancellation policy*, you can feel safe reserving your room for this year's annual meeting at the Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain despite the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic. A limited number of beautifully renovated lake view rooms are still available, so make your reservation today! Discounted rates begin at just $199/night plus tax/fees for city views and $219/night plus tax/fees for lake views.

*The Hilton offers free cancellation before 11:59 PM local hotel time on January 25, 2022, for guests arriving on January 27, 2022.

NNECOS Task Force Flyer

Join A NNECOS Task Force

Mask-Free Collegial Connections!

NNECOS needs YOU to serve on a task force - no mask or social distancing required for this virtual volunteer opportunity! Now is a great time to become more involved with colleagues from across the region, with the common goal of promoting the highest quality care for patients with cancer and blood disorders in our region. Joining a task force is also a great first step toward future board service. What's your area of interest? From advocacy to philanthropy, student projects to engagement and relationships, we have a spot waiting for you on a NNECOS task force. Learn more or sign up today at nnecos.org/get-involved.

Community Clinical Trial Webinar

Community Clinical Trial Webinar

The Norris Cotton Cancer Center received a major grant -- known as the CATCH-UP grant -- from the National Cancer Institute to support increasing access to early phase clinical trials in our region. Join us Wednesday, December 15th at 5:30 pm for this special webinar to learn more about the clinical trials that Norris Cotton Cancer Center has available through this effort and the pathway for referring patients.

Register for the Community Clinical Trial Webinar

NNECOS Classifieds

Interested in exploring new career opportunities? Check out the latest listings on the NNECOS Classifieds page.

  • UVM Medical Center - Assistant/Associate Professor or Professor Clinical Scholar Pathway, breast cancer & familial cancer genetics
  • Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center - Clinical Research Nurse
  • Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center - Board-certified/board eligible hematologist/oncologist
  • UVM Medical Center - Assistant/Associate Professor/Professor, Clinical Scholar Pathway, Hematology/Oncology
  • New England Cancer Specialists - multiple positions

Looking for a new team member? NNECOS members may request an advertisement be placed on the NNECOS Classifieds page.

FYI: Hem-Onc Fellows Network: A Twitter Community for Trainees

The Hem-Onc Fellows Network is an online community for hematology-oncology trainees in all stages of training. The network includes medical students, residents, fellows & doctoral students and is committed to promoting diversity, equity & inclusion. 

Cancer Community Support

As we enter another pandemic-burdened holiday season, we recognize that your patients may be struggling with unprecedented emergency needs more than ever. NNECOS is here to help!

First-time applicants are encouraged to apply for limited funding still available via Emergency Need Grants & the Grocery/Gas Card Program. Let's work together to help our patients who are facing extra needs during the pandemic. www.nnecos.org/ccsc

NNECOS Board Member, Dr. YongLi Ji

NNECOS Board Member in the News!

New NNECOS Board Member, Dr. YongLi Ji, is featured in this news story about cooling cap treatments available to patients at the Center for Cancer Care at Exeter Hospital. Thank you, Dr. Ji, for always putting your patients first!

ASCO State Society Network

Have you joined the State Society Network?

If you are a NNECOS Active Associate, Active Physician, Fellow, and Emeritus member, you're invited to join the ASCO State Society Network, a new online community for State Society members, developed to increase engagement with oncology professionals throughout the country. As a member of this community, you can participate in discussions with peers in other states, as well as your own, ask questions, share information, access resource documents, and communicate with the leadership and members of ASCO’s State Affiliate Council.

Join

After navigating to the community, please log in using your ASCO username and password and select "Join Community" located in the top, right corner of your browser. If you do not have an ASCO account, please visit login.asco.org/register to create a profile.

If you run into any difficulties or have questions, reach out to ASCO Outreach & Support Program Specialist, Lisa-Marie Pratt with questions.

 
ASCO in Action

Urge Congress to Prevent Medicare Sequestration Cuts Before the End of the Year

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently released the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program final rule. The Association for Clinical Oncology estimates a 5% overall reimbursement cut for medical oncology and is urging its members to ask Congress to stop additional sequestration cuts to Medicare reimbursement before the end of the year.

Take Action: Join ASCO in Supporting Federal Copay Accumulator Legislation

Representatives Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) recently introduced H.R. 5801, the HELP Copays Act, a bill supported by the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) that will ban copay accumulator programs by ensuring that all payments made by the patient count towards their deductible, coinsurance, or out-of-pocket maximum. This is an important step in protecting patients from potential added financial strains in obtaining expensive therapies. As many states have introduced or passed legislation to address copay accumulator programs, ASCO is pleased to see the introduction of federal legislation.

Please contact your Representative and support the HELP Copays Act, H.R. 5801.

Support Legislation Addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has endorsed the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, which was introduced by Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) in the House and Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in the Senate.

Please tell Congress to pass along this important legislation.

Patient health is influenced by multiple factors, including social, economic, and environmental factors, many of which are largely out of their control. These factors, known as social determinants of health (SDOH), are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, age, and factors such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood, employment, and social support. Data collection has shown that SDOH can have a significant impact on patients, including access to care and outcomes. Both Congress and other stakeholders must collaborate and take action to overcome historical momentum and existing social structures responsible for disparate outcomes.

CMS to Apply MIPS Automatic Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Policy for the 2021 Performance Year

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to provide relief where possible to clinicians responding to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE). They are applying the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) automatic extreme and uncontrollable circumstances (EUC) policy to ALL individually eligible MIPS eligible clinicians for the 2021 performance year (PY). Please note that this announcement is for PY2021 only.

For more information, please see the Quality Payment Program COVID-19 Response webpage on the QPP website. You may also contact the Quality Payment program at 1-866-288-8292 or by e-mail at: QPP@cms.hhs.gov.

ASCO Responds to New Social Determinants of Health Caucus RFI

A bipartisan group of Representatives recently established the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Caucus in the House to highlight opportunities for coordination to improve health outcomes and maximize existing and future federal investments in health, food, housing, transportation, and other important drivers of health. Leadership is needed to break down the barriers that impede better coordination between health and social services programs. One of their first actions was releasing a request for information (RFI), which ASCO responded to highlighting findings in our Road to Recovery Report, the most recent Heath Equity Policy Statement, and ASCO’s SDOH educational resources. ASCO looks forward to continued collaboration with this group.

Need Help Talking to Patients and Clinic Staff About COVID-19 Vaccines?

COVID-19 Vaccines and People with Cancer,” a new infographic from Cancer.Net, answers common questions and addresses concerns people with cancer have about COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States. Designed to be printed and shared with patients and caregivers, the infographic highlights the increased risk people with cancer face from COVID-19, the protection provided by vaccines, and the importance of vaccination for patients with cancer and the people who care for them. Read more on ASCO in Action.

Mortality Risk in Patients with Cancer and SARS-CoV-2 Infection Higher Among Older Patients with B-Cell Malignancies

new study published in JCO Oncology Practice found that patients with certain cancers have a higher mortality risk than other cancer types if they have contracted the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). Specifically, older patients with B-cell malignancies who acquire SARS-CoV-2 who are undergoing cancer treatment are at increased risk of death compared to other patients with cancer. Previous or current tobacco users who are undergoing cancer treatment are also at increased risk of death if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2. Read more here.

ASCO Seeks Practices to Participate in Testing of Performance Measures

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Performance Measurement Team is recruiting practices in the United States to participate in the testing of measures for a variety of efforts, including re-endorsement of existing ASCO measures by the National Quality Forum (NQF).

Participation in this project will allow ASCO to continue to ensure the highest level of quality care for cancer patients while advancing the specialty of oncology. Participating practices will be provided financial support for these efforts, and ASCO members will be awarded FASCO points. Participation in this project is separate from QOPI participation and in no way affects or contributes to your QOPI Performance scores.

Practices can opt to test one measure or multiple measures. Participating practices will be provided eligibility criteria for each measure and then answer a series of questions (via Survey Monkey) on a random sample of 50 eligible patients. No Protected Health Information (PHI) will be collected. The estimated time commitment for each measure is 4-5 hours.

Please complete the Practice Interest Survey.

Reminder: Senate Prior Authorization Legislation Introduced

On October 20, Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and John Thune (R-SD), introduced the Senate companion of the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act. This is important momentum on an issue impacting patients and practices, and now is the time to urge your lawmakers to support this important bill.

Increased use of utilization management tools like prior authorization can undermine patient access to medically necessary care. In May, Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1), Mike Kelly (R-PA-16), Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA-7), and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN-08), introduced the House bill that would help to streamline and create an electronic prior authorization system within the Medicare Advantage program, protecting patients from unnecessary delays in care. Senate introduction of a companion bill is an important step to advancing this legislation which already enjoys 234 cosponsors in the House and strong support from ASCO and other leading organizations.

Please contact your lawmakers and ask them to cosponsor the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act through the ACT Network.

Industry-Related Resources

The NNECOS website hosts a variety of collated resources related to cancer medications, including our NNECOS FDA Approvals - a chronological, collated resource for the latest approval and indication information. For those times when you're looking for a specific manufacturer or drug-specific reimbursement contact, check out our Regional Reimbursement Contacts page. For your convenience, we also provide information for you to stay up-to-date with Package/Label and Code updates.

FDA Updates
  • Nov 17 -  FDA approves pembrolizumab for adjuvant treatment of renal cell carcinoma
  • Oct 29 - FDA grants accelerated approval to asciminib for patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+ CML) in chronic phase (CP), previously treated with two or more tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), and approved asciminib for adult patients with Ph+ CML in CP with the T315I mutation.  



                   

Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society
P.O. Box 643
Sandown, NH 03873-0643
Telephone (603) 887-1948
info@nnecos.org

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