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. 


Delta and the NNECOS Annual Meeting

NNECOS & Delta Variant

NNECOS leadership is discussing the escalating situation with the Delta variant surge in relation to the scheduled in-person meeting October 29-30 in Burlington, Vermont. Together, we are evaluating data from our survey of key stakeholders regarding potential in-person participation restrictions and comfort level participating in a large, in-person gathering. We are also engaged in discussions with the hotel, evaluating all options and factors in an effort to make the best decision for our members and the patients they serve during this unprecedented time. As soon as a decision is reached, it will be communicated to our members in a timely manner.

NNECOS Board of Directors Election

September 1-21, 2021

NNECOS Board of Directors Election

If you're an active NNECOS member in good standing (Active Associate or Active Physician), check your inbox on Wednesday, September 1st for your official ballot to vote in this year's Board of Directors Election. The NNECOS membership will elect two Active Associate Members and four Active Physician members to serve on the board for a three-year term. The election requires a minimum of 10 percent of the voting-eligible members to participate to be valid, so let your voice be heard.


Celebrating 30 Years: Honoring Our Past, Envisioning Our Future

Led by Dr. A. Collier Smyth (NH) and Dr. Ronald Carroll (ME), NNECOS was founded in 1990 with just 6 members. Recognizing the importance of professional collaboration in the provision of high-quality oncology care, a regional model was chosen to unite Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont into an oncology society – a model that continues to bring value to its members today.

Over the next several weeks, watch for our social media posts as we reflect on milestones in our history and look to the future as we celebrate 30 years of NNECOS. To join the celebration, "Like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, interact with us on Instagram, or visit www.nnecos.org/history.

NNECOS Lunchtime Webinars

Lunchtime Webinars Return This Fall! 

Join us on September 14th for “AML: A Disease State Overview,” and on October 5th for “Overview of Immune-Related Adverse Events Caused by Immune Checkpoint Inhibition.” Learn more at www.nnecos.org/lunchtime.


We are thrilled to recognize NNECOS members who have been published! If you have been published recently, we would like to hear about it. Email us at info@nnecos.org.

Radiation Therapy

NNECOS member, Dr. Nataniel Lester-Coll, and colleague, Dr. Eric Topol, discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) changes the way we plan and deliver radiation therapy for cancer in their recent publication, Radiation Oncology 2.0, in The Lancet.

UVM Cyber Attack

NNECOS Board members, Dr. Carl Nelson, and Dr. Nataniel Lester-Coll, and their colleagues describe Development of Rapid Response Plan for Radiation Oncology in Response to Cyberattack shortly after the event occurred.

NNECO Board member, Dr. Steven Ades, and colleagues share lessons learned in caring for patients with cancer through the disruption of communication channels in their recently published paper in JCO Oncology Practice, Cancer Care in the Wake of a Cyberattack: How to Prepare and What to Expect.



Cancer Community Support

NNECOS is your partner in supporting patients with cancer in Northern New England. Limited funding is still available via Emergency Need Grants and the Grocery/Gas Card Program. Let's work together to help our patients who are facing extra need during this global pandemic. Learn more at www.nnecos.org/ccsc

NNECOS Classifieds

NNECOS offers its member practices an opportunity to request advertisement on our website via the NNECOS Classifieds page. If your practice is looking for a new team member, or if you’re interested in exploring new career opportunities, we invite you to connect with the NNECOS Classifieds.  

Currently posted listings include:

  • Northern Light Health Eastern Maine Medical Center is seeking a board-certified/board eligible hematologist/oncologist
  • UVM Medical Center is seeking a physician with experience in hematologic malignancies, autologous stem cell transplantation and CAR-T cell therapy
  • New England Cancer Specialists Maine & New Hampshire - Multiple Positions
 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Announced Project ECHO - Global Oncology & Disparities of Cancer Care Lecture Series

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Announced Project ECHO - Global Oncology & Disparities of Cancer Care Lecture Series

Starting September 23rd, and continuing on the 4th Thursday of each month, subject matter experts & participants will discuss how to address challenging oncologic & hematologic cases and epidemiology. View the PDF for sessions and dates and register today.

ASCO in Action

Joint Statement Released in Support of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

This week, the Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) proudly signed onto a joint statement supporting mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for all workers in health and long-term care facilities. ASCO was among almost 60 health care organizations and societies that signed onto this statement explaining that employer mandates at health care and long-term care facilities are ethical, effective, and crucial in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full statement .

Expanded Open Enrollment, Special Enrollment Periods for Certain Health Insurance Exchanges Increase Access to Cancer Care

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding provisions in a 2022 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters proposed rule. The rule addresses extended and special enrollment provisions for federally facilitated health insurance exchanges and state-based exchanges on the federal platform. ASCO supports increasing access to cancer care through open enrollment and special enrollment periods for applicable exchanges.

New Oncology-Specific Telehealth Standards Focus on Patient Care, Research, Provider Coordination

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently published “Telehealth in Oncology: ASCO Standards and Practice Recommendations” in JCO Oncology Practice. The document provides oncology-specific standards for using telehealth to treat individuals with cancer.

The standards were developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when new rules around reimbursement for telehealth had recently been implemented in the United States. Amid the evolving health care delivery landscape, ASCO identified a need for specific standards for oncology that would fill gaps in the general telehealth guidance. The new standards focus on which patients oncology practices should see via telehealth, virtual multidisciplinary cancer conference (MCC) meetings, clinical trials via telehealth in oncology, and the role of advanced practice providers (APPs) and allied health professionals. Read more on ASCO in Action.

CMS Releases Updates to IPPS for Fiscal Year 2022

On August 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released updates to the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) for fiscal year (FY) 2022 final rule, including updates to Medicare payment policies and payment rates for most acute care hospitals. Read the full IPPS Final Rule and learn more on ASCO in Action.

Resources for Trainees & Early Career Professionals

ASCO offers free Member-in-Training membership to oncology trainees & discounted Full Member membership dues for oncologists within their first 3 years post oncology subspecialty training. Resources for Trainees

Occupational and Personal Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on US Oncologist Burnout and Well-Being: A Study From the ASCO Clinician Well-Being Task Force

An ASCO Clinician Well-Being Task Force studied the occupational and personal consequences of the pandemic on US oncologist burnout and well-being. Read more.

Do You Know a Lawmaker? Let Us Know!

Interactions with lawmakers at home bring a critical local connection to ASCO’s advocacy

efforts. Frequently on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures, there are lawmakers in positions of

influence on issues impacting cancer care that may need an additional push from a trusted

source to secure support. ASCO keeps record of these connections so we can call on them

when needed.


Many of you have cultivated relationships with your lawmakers. Whether you are friends, their

health care provider, or your children attend school together, understanding where these

connections exist is important for ASCO’s advocacy. If you have a relationship with your federal or local lawmakers, please take a moment and let us know using the link below, or by contacting Ryan Strandlund.


Any information provided is secure and will not be shared outside of ASCO. Any outreach to these lawmakers would be done with your approval and involvement. Click here to log a relationship!

 

Watch Oncology Medical Home: ASCO and COA Standards Podcast

In the latest ASCO in Action podcast, Kim Woofter, RN from Advanced Centers for Cancer Care (ACCC) and John V. Cox, DO, MBA from UT Southwestern Medical Center, co-chairs on “Oncology Medical Home: ASCO and COA Standards,” review the standards for the OMH model—a system of care delivery featuring coordinated, efficient, accessible, evidence-based care including a process for the measurement of outcomes to facilitate continuous quality improvement. Watch the recording now.

Now Available: 2020 MIPS Final Score and 2022 MIPS Payment Adjustment Information

The Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has released Merit-based Incentive

Payment System (MIPS) performance feedback, final scores for performance year 2020, and associated MIPS payment adjustment information for payment year 2022. Oncology practices and individual clinicians can now view MIPS performance feedback, final scores, and 2022 payment adjustment on the Quality Payment Program website. Contact the CMS Quality Payment Program with any questions via email or by calling 1-866-288-8292. Read more on ASCO in Action.

ASCO Applauds Administration Decision to Withdraw Most Favored Nation Model

On August 6, Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board Chair, Howard A. “Skip” Burris III, MD, FACP, FASCO, issued the following statement: “The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) commends the Biden Administration for proposing to rescind the Most Favored Nation (MFN) model from consideration. ASCO has consistently opposed the ill-advised MFN model, as it would have a devastating impact on people with cancer.

The proposed MFN model would impose a nationwide, mandatory experiment that would cut reimbursement for 50 drugs—including 38 drugs used to treat cancer. According to estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the MFN model would cause 19% of Medicare beneficiaries to lose access to drugs included in the model.” Read more on ASCO in Action.

PracticeNET Data Projects Full Impact of 2022 Medicare Reimbursement Proposals, Sequestration Cuts on Cancer Care 

The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Association for Clinical Oncology (collectively ASCO) released an in-depth analysis of the impact the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) proposed rules—as well as pending sequestration cuts—could have on cancer care beginning January 1, 2022. The analysis was performed using PracticeNET dataset of 35 physician and hospital-based practices in the United States. ASCO’s modeling of the PFS proposal showed slightly larger reimbursement cuts, compared to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates, for both the hematology/oncology specialty (an ASCO-estimated 2.9% decrease vs. CMS-estimated 2% decrease) and for radiation oncology (an ASCO-estimated 6.4% cut vs. a CMS-estimated 5% cut). The difference between the ASCO and CMS estimates may be due to the higher proportion of private practices in the PracticeNET dataset. Read more on ASCO in Action.

Check Out ASCO’s Health Equity Resources

ASCO has developed a wide range of resources to help its members and the larger cancer community better understand and address health equity issues in cancer research and care. Bookmark the health equity resource page to stay up to date as new resources become available. 

Upcoming ONC Webinar on Information Blocking

Join Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) on September 14, 2021 for the first in a series of clinician-focused webinars on the information blocking regulation. ONC experts will explain how ONC supports secure, appropriate sharing of electronic health information and how information sharing leads to more affordable and equitable care and improved care quality.

Hear answers to questions such as:

  • What is information blocking and why should I care?
  • Why is information sharing so important?
  • What information needs to be shared and with whom?
  • What are the allowable exceptions and when do they apply?

Register for the Webinar

Note: If you are unable to join the live presentation, you can still register to receive a link to access a recording of the webcast.

Industry-Related Resources

In this time of inbox overload, remember that you can utilize the NNECOS FDA Approvals page as a chronological, collated resource for the latest approval and indication information. You can also find manufacturer and drug-specific reimbursement contact information on our Regional Reimbursement Contacts page. For your convenience, we also provide information for you to stay up-to-date with Packaging Label and Code updates.

Package Label Updates Industry-Sponsored Educational Programs FDA Approvals
  • Updated Prescribing Information for NERLYNX® (neratinib) tablets
  • EZH2NowSM Testing Program, a no-cost, single-gene EZH2 test for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma patients
  • Taiho Oncology dinner program on Lonsurf®
Industry-Sponsored Educational Programs
  • New Permanent J-Code for Melphalan Flufenamide
  • FDA approves ivosidenib for advanced or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma

  • FDA approves nivolumab for adjuvant treatment of urothelial carcinoma
  • FDA grants accelerated approval to dostarlimab-gxly for dMMR advanced solid tumors
  • FDA approves belzutifan for cancers associated with von Hippel-Lindau disease



                     

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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