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National Oncologist Group Warns: Current Health Care Reform Legislation Woefully Short In Addressing Cancer Care Crisis
Date:12/11/2009

em, with more Americans unable to afford cancer care and falling between the treatment cracks.

In a national call to action, the organization is encouraging oncology professionals and the entire cancer community to contact Members of Congress to request action on these recommendations, starting with the prevention of planned severe Medicare cuts to cancer care. These cuts start in January and continue to increase over the next four years.

“As a nation, we have watched the health care reform legislation evolve over the past year. One issue we have not heard much about -- and not through lack of trying -- is legislation for the reform of cancer care,” continued Dr. Cobb. “Although there are certain positive aspects of reform relating to insurance coverage, the proposed legislation comes up woefully short in addressing a growing cancer care crisis. ”

Prior to Congress embarking on health reform legislation, a national team of oncologists spent more than a year researching and developing a plan to improve the Medicare payment system for cancer care. This initiative resulted in collaborating with members of Congress, now embodied in the National Cancer Care Demonstration Project Act of 2009 (H.R. 3675).

Dr. Cobb noted, “Because of the timing of the health care reform debate, we’re concerned that progress in funding and implementing this very specific national project is too slow to stop the impact of the upcoming January cuts.”

The organization has issued a six-part recommendation, which includes immediate action:
1. Enact real-world solutions to enhancing quality cancer care while controlling costs by including the National Cancer Care Demonstration Project Act of 2009 (H.R. 3675) in health care reform legislation.
2. Stop implementation of Medicare reimbursement cuts to cancer care, especially the payment reduction to cancer drug administration.
3. Stop
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