American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Cancer and Research

Congress Passes Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015

On December 1, 2015 the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1170, Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act. S.1170 reauthorized provisions requiring the U.S. Postal Service to issue a special postage stamp to raise funds for breast cancer research through December 31, 2019.

House Resolution Recognizes the Importance of CoC Accreditation

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) have introduced H. Res. 487, which recognizes the importance of voluntary accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) in ensuring access to high-quality cancer care. Currently, there are approximately 1,500 CoC-accredited cancer programs in the U.S., treating more than 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. According to a study in the Journal of Surgical Oncology, accreditation is regarded as important in improving oncologic outcomes through compliance with standards that include continuous quality improvement.

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Palliative Care Education and Hospice Training Act

Introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Tom Reed (R-NY), the Palliative Care Education and Hospice Training Act (H.R. 1339) focuses on training the current and emerging health care professional workforce in palliative care. Specifically, the bill:

  • Creates incentives to improve the training and retraining of interdisciplinary health professionals in palliative care and to develop and disseminate curricula relating to palliative care.
  • Creates up to 24 palliative care education centers at medical schools to establish fellowships that provide short-term intensive courses focused on palliative care. Fellowships are targeted to faculty to upgrade their knowledge and clinical skills for the care of individuals with serious and chronic illnesses.
  • Provides grants or contracts for health care professionals to teach or practice in the field of palliative care for at least five years.

Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act

Introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (H.R. 1220/S. 624) would correct an oversight in current law that requires Medicare beneficiaries to pay a coinsurance when a colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy also involves a polyp removal during the screening encounter.

Cancer Care Payment Reform Act

Introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, H.R. 1934, the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2015 would create a demonstration project for Oncology Medical Homes and would specifically require the program be accredited by the CoC or an equivalent body.

Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act

H.R. 2739/S. 1566, the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, sponsored by Rep. Leonard Lance and Sen. Mark Kirk, respectively, would require health insurance companies to provide the same coverage for new, promising orally-administered anti-cancer medication as it does for traditional intravenous chemotherapy.

Cancer FY 2017 Appropriations Requests

The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a member of One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a broad coalition of cancer-related organizations working to make funding for cancer research and prevention programs a top priority in fiscal year (FY) 2017 and beyond. For FY 2017, the ACS CoC urges Congress to support the following funding recommendations:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): $34.56 billion, including:
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI): $5.894 billion
    • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD): $301 million
    • National Institute on Nursing Research (NINR): $157 million
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cancer Programs: $514 million, including:
    • National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program: $50 million
    • National Program of Cancer Registries: $65 million
    • National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: $275 million
    • Colorectal Cancer Control Program: $70 million
    • National Skin Cancer Prevention Education Program: $5 million
    • Prostate Cancer Awareness Campaign: $35 million
    • Ovarian Cancer Control Initiative: $7.5 million
    • Gynecologic Cancer and Education and Awareness (Johanna's Law): $5.5 million
    • Cancer Survivorship Resource Center: $900,000
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII Nursing Programs: $244 million
  • Food and Drug Administration: $2.85 million