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

Cancer and Research

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. 1676) focuses on training the current and emerging health care professional workforce in palliative care. Specifically, the bill:

  • Establishes Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to improve the training of interdisciplinary health professionals in palliative care; develop and disseminate curricula relating to palliative care; support the training and retraining of faculty; support continuing education; provide students with clinical training in appropriate sites of care; and provide traineeships for advanced practice nurses.
  • Authorizes grants or contracts to schools of medicine, teaching hospitals and graduate medical education programs to train physicians (including residents, trainees, and fellows) who plan to teach palliative medicine.
  • Creates Fellowships for 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. 1017/S. 479) 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 (R-WV) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Cancer Care Payment Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 1834/S.463) would create a demonstration project for Oncology Medical Homes and would specifically require the program be accredited by the Commission on Cancer or an equivalent body.

Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act

H.R. 1409, the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, introduced by Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), 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.

Childhood Cancer STAR Act

The Childhood Cancer STAR Act, (H.R. 820/S. 292), was introduced by Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). This legislation is an important step in advancing pediatric cancer research and child-focused cancer treatments, while also improving childhood cancer surveillance and providing resources for survivors of childhood cancer.

The Childhood Cancer STAR Act would do the following:

  • Authorize the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to build upon existing efforts to collect biospecimens for childhood cancer patients enrolled in NCI-sponsored clinical trials with the goal of collecting and maintaining relevant clinical, biological, and demographic information on all children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer.
  • Authorize grants to state cancer registries to identify and track the incidences of child, adolescent, and young adult cancer.
  • Enhance research on the late effects of childhood cancer.

Cancer FY 2018 Appropriations Requests

The American College of Surgeons 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) 2018 and beyond. For FY 2018, the CoC urges Congress to support the following funding recommendations:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): $36.2 billion, including:
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI): $6 billion
    • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD): $306 million
    • National Institute on Nursing Research (NINR): $159 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 (HRSA)
    • Title VIII Nursing Programs: $244 million