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Community Oncologists and Patients Stand Up for Cancer Care on Capitol Hill
Date:7/8/2009

ll announce results of a national survey it commissioned revealing that the inability to pay for cancer care is among Americans' top fears about the disease, and that they would take dire steps to afford cancer care, if needed. The survey of a statistically representative sample of 1,022 Americans over 18 years of age was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation June 26-30, 2009.

"The need for healthcare reform is critical to cancer care," said Representative Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH). "In the urgency to solve this national crisis, there is an unaddressed need to overhaul the high cost of drugs and extensive services required for cancer care that affects the lives of millions of patients."

"By its nature, cancer is an insidious and catastrophic illness that can strike people at any age or stage in their lives, but it is more prevalent with the advance of age," explained Patrick Cobb, M.D., president of COA and managing partner of Hematology-Oncology Centers of the Northern Rockies in Billings, Montana. "That is where Medicare becomes more of an issue, as treatment is costly and complicated; and even after successful treatment, the disease can recur."

Medicare Cuts Proposed

A crucial and pressing topic that today's speakers will address is the proposed cuts in Medicare payments recently announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in its 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. A variety of new provisions scheduled to begin January 1, 2010 will prove disastrous to cancer care unless Congress acts to overturn the cuts, including a 21.5% cut in payments to all physicians as well as an additional 6% cut in Medicare payments to community oncology practices.

"Based on a query of only 50 oncologists, these proposed cuts offer markedly insufficient data provided to CMS by the American Medical Association (AMA) in its Physician Practice Inf
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SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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