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SCOTUS Upholds ACA Subsidies and ASCO Releases Value Framework


IP Blog | Dave Melin | June 28, 2015

BioBlog Weekly oncologyThis week in healthcare, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to uphold federal Obamacare subsidies for millions of Americans, and ASCO released its long awaited Cancer Value Framework.

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

In a 6-3 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of upholding federal Obamacare subsidies. The decision will allow 6.4 million Americans to keep subsidies that help them to afford insurance coverage and effectively quashes what has been a long process of challenging the health care law.

ASCO Publishes Conceptual Framework to Assess the Value of New Cancer Treatment Options

ASCO announced this week the release of their ASCO Value Framework. The program’s goal, according to ASCO President Julie Vose, MD, is “to help oncologists and their patients weigh potential treatment options based on high-quality scientific evidence and a thoughtful assessment of each patient’s needs and goals.”

Cancer Doctors Offer Way to Compare Medicines, Including by Cost

This New York Times article delves further into the ASCO Value Framework, as well as detailing a similar effort by UnitedHealthcare that will require doctors to receive authorization to prescribe cancer drugs, then “track what happens to patients and eventually provide information to doctors about how well each drug works.”

New England Cancer Specialists Receives National Recognition as an Oncology Medical Home

New England Cancer Specialists, which is “one of the last remaining community-based, independent cancer practices in the region,” was recently awarded “full accreditation from the Commission on Cancer (CoC) as an Oncology Medical Home.”

With Omnicare Buy, CVS Sharpens Focus on Health Care Continuum

In its efforts at “leveraging best practices to improve the coordination of pharmaceutical care for Medicare Part D patients as they transition between health care settings,” CVS has added a new team player: pharmacy services provider Omnicare.

Shipley Explains BCBSNM’s 51 Percent Rate Increase Request

After BCBS of New Mexico put in a request for a 51% rate increase for 2016, BCBSNM President Kurt Shipley explains the rationale behind this decision. BCBS CEO Martin Hickey also weighs in: “I think the main reason rates are going up is the uncertainty of how the risk adjusters and the risk corridors are going to pay out — especially in 2016 — because the rules change financially.”

Welcome to the Sharing Economy. Cancer Researchers Are Next.

At a recent convention, cancer researcher Charles Sawyers argued that cancer researchers need to “break down the walls of their institutions and share the ever-greater volume of data coming from research labs, cancer clinics, and medical centers.”

Plans Tap New Ideas for Population Health Analytics Using Persona-Based Model

Some health plans, like CareSource and Aetna, are increasing their efforts to use data analytics to improve care management, with hopes to “reduce costs and improve the coordination and medical status of their members, many of them in the high-risk, high-cost category.”

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