ACCC 47th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS): Positive Disruption in the COVID-19 ERA – Part 1

05 April 2021 Health Care Law Today Blog
Authors: Adria Warren Alexis Finkelberg Bortniker

The ACCC 47th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS) took place virtually, March 1-5. The Cancer Center Business Summit was co-founded in 2007 by Foley & Lardner LLP and CCBD Group as an opportunity for members of the community oncology c-suite, providers, vendors, payors, and others involved in the business of oncology to share best practices, learn about newest technologies, trends, and legal and business updates in the industry, and to strategize to position themselves for success. In 2017, the Summit joined forces with the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), and the AMCCBS now serves as the prominent thought leadership forum and annual conference on matters of policy, business strategies, business models, hospital alignment, and best business practices in community oncology.

Through a combination of five-star panels and interactive drop-in sessions, attendees learned about key themes and trends in oncology today: telemedicine/telehealth, virtual care models and remote monitoring, including home therapy for chemo; cancer service line efficiency and revenue optimization; leveraging data; managing alternative payment models; employer-driven models and addressing disparities in cancer care; long-and short-term impacts of Covid-19 on oncology; clinical research; and current trends and the changing landscape in oncology transactions. 

You can also review our additional AMCCBS focused blogs on “The 2021 ‘Level Set’ in the Sprint to Value-Based Care” and “The Next Wave in Oncology Transactions” by clicking the available links.

A New Day: Moving Forward Under the Biden Administration

Kavita Patel, Fellow and Managing Director, Center for Health Policy, Brookings Institute, opened the summit by providing a forward-thinking view of what Federal health care policy could look like under the Administration. She explained that many health proposals on the Administration’s agenda will require congressional action, which will take time. Democrats lead the Senate with the slimmest of margins we have seen since the 1940’s, nonetheless, we can anticipate use of Executive Orders to effect a number of health policy changes. Some highlights of Dr. Patel’s talk included:

  • The new Administration supports upholding the Affordable Care Act and believes it is constitutional. A decision by the Supreme Court is expected this summer. This will be an early test of how far the new Congress and Administration are capable of going to strengthen and broaden the ACA. Congress will be thinking about the 2024 election, and many in Congress will remember their loss of 63 seats, and control, after the 2010 vote to pass the ACA.

  • Expect to see a focus on equality and there are already task forces working on this issue.

  • COVID-19 actions are a priority. Short-term priorities include passing the stimulus, the “100 day mask challenge”, and leveraging the Defense Production Act to accelerate PPE. Inevitably, the Administration will need to address the extent to which waivers to existing regulations issued during the pandemic will be made permanent. This will take time to accomplish, however, telehealth legislation has a higher probability of passing than some other areas, as telehealth has impressive lobbying power.

  • Lowering Drug Pricing. The 340B Drug Pricing Program enables providers that serve vulnerable patient populations to access outpatient drugs at significantly lower costs with the aim of improving overall patient care. In December 2020, HRSA established a long overdue Administrative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process that allows covered entities and drug manufacturers to bring claims against each other related to 340B. This ADR process will begin amid contentious disputes about the scope and future of the 340B Program.

  • Another short-term priority is to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global agencies.

  • Long-term, the Administration wants to establish a unified national approach to testing and enhance federal agencies collection and sharing of data.

After a successful virtual conference, the ACCC 48th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit is planning to be held in person in Washington, D.C. in March 2022!

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