The Importance of Advocacy

"The risk of not getting involved is that the most expert voices will not be heard. And then, the policies we have to live with won’t reflect what we know is best for our patients." 

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO

ASCO Chief Executive Officer


Federal Issues Impacting Cancer Care

NNECOS Leaders Participate in ASCO's Virtual Advocacy Summit

Dr. Marie Wood (current NNECOS President), Dr. John Winters (NNECOS President-elect) and Dr. John Hill (past NNECOS President) participated in ASCO’s Virtual Advocacy Summit April 14, 2021, representing Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, respectively. Meeting with staffers from each of the Senate and Congressional offices, these NNECOS Board designees lobbied for support of our cancer patients in three legislative efforts under consideration:

  1. Telehealth Modernization Act (H.R. 1332/S.368), which would permanently remove the geographic and originating site restrictions for use of telehealth in Medicare, allowing more patients and providers to continue to benefit from telehealth after the end of the public health emergency.
  2. Safe Step Act (H.R. 2163/S. 464), which would create exceptions to potentially harmful step therapy protocols from private insurance plans so patients would be able to receive appropriate and timely care. This is an especially important piece of legislation for cancer patients who often require (and deserve) a personalized approach to the management of this devastating disease.
  3. Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act (H.R. 869/S.289), which would provide $25 billion in emergency supplemental funding for a number of research agencies, including $10 billion for the NIH. More specifically, this would help close the widening gap that currently exists between R01 grant applications (the foundation of our national cancer research effort) and existing NCI funding, which currently covers only 10% of this important demand.

Each of these NNECOS participants welcomes the opportunity to serve as a resource for Senate and Congressional offices on any issues related to cancer, and they look forward to continued dialogue in the future.

Current State Advocacy

Maine

NNECOS / ASCO letter regarding LD 1539

Maine House Bill 1539

NNECOS and ASCO support important fertility preservation legislation in Maine. Select the thumbnail to read the letter sent to the Joint Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance & Financial Services in the Maine Legislature.

Update: On May 21, 2021, a request was submitted to carry over HB1539 to next year.


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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