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Community Oncologists Launch Petition to Stop Drastic Cancer Care Cuts
Date:1/26/2010

Planned Medicare Cuts Threaten U.S. Cancer Care Delivery System

Washington, DC (Vocus) January 26, 2010 -- Community oncologists nationwide, under the support and leadership of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), launched a national petition to urge President Obama and lawmakers to reverse drastic cuts in reimbursement for cancer care implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 1, 2010 and compounding through 2013.

The Stop Cancer Care Cuts Petition (www.communityoncology.org/coa-petition) seeks to prevent a series of severe Medicare cuts that the organization predicts will dismantle the U.S. cancer care delivery system. The petition, which has already reached 15,000 signatures, will be delivered to President Obama and the 111th Congress.

“These cuts, as they are planned, will decrease reimbursements far beyond what the U.S. cancer care delivery system -- and most patients -- can bear,” said Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of COA and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Center of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana.

Medicare has already severely cut payments for cancer care -- more than 25% since 2004 for the administration of life-saving cancer drugs alone -- which has affected doctors’ ability to treat patients. Starting this month Medicare has cut payments for the drug administration of life-saving cancer drugs further by 5%, and will continue to make additional cuts every year through 2013; these payments will be cut by close to 20%. Payment cuts are also being made to imaging tests -- such as PET and CT scans -- that help find and manage c
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