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FORCE advocates for families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in areas such as access to care, research funding, insurance, and privacy.

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Newsflash

8/9/17
Today, FORCE submitted comments to ICER expressing concerns about its draft report “Poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) Inhibitors for Ovarian Cancer: Effectiveness and Value.”

7/25/17
A FORCE rep spoke today about effectively working with patient groups at the 13th annual Medical Device Coverage & Reimbursement conference.

7/11/17
We joined 133 orgs in supporting the I Am Essential coalition letter in response to the HHS RFI on how to "create a more flexible, streamlined approach to the regulatory structure of the individual and small group markets."

6/15/17
Lisa Schlager, FORCE VP of Community Affairs & Public Policy, attended the NCCN Policy Summit on Ensuring Patient Safety and Access in Cancer Care.
Summit Overview

6/12/17
FORCE joined 60 other orgs in a letter to the FDA with comments on the proposed Office of Patient Affairs.
Read comments...

5/23/17
FORCE joined The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, representing over 300 organizations, in recommending a $2 billion FY18 increase for NIH, in addition to funds included in the 21st Century Cures Act for targeted initiatives.

5/12/17
Advocate Melanie Nix shares why she is passionate about health policy efforts. Read her blog...

4/25/17
FORCE VP of Advocacy is in NY today participating in the Basser Center for BRCA's "The Intersection of Cancer Genetics, Law and Advocacy" event.

Current Issues

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Insurance Coverage & Barriers

ACA Repeal Fails in Senate

The Senate failed to pass the Health Care Freedom Act (also known as "skinny" repeal), a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), late on Friday, July 27. Earlier, two more robust bills--the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would repeal and replace the ACA, and the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act, a straight repeal bill--failed to pass as well.

With so many legislators speaking out against the fast-track procedures used by Senate Republican leaders, it is anticipated that future health care reform efforts will go through the committees, where bipartisanship and deliberation are more likely. Check back here for updates on "need to know" information regarding health care reform and its impact on the high-risk cancer community.

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

Statement Sets the Record Straight on AHCA and HR 1313

Recent events related to proposed changes in health care and genetic privacy laws have spurred concern and uncertainty in the hereditary cancer community. Some media stories have disseminated inaccurate information, which has intensified people’s unease. We prepared this briefing to dispel some of the misinformation and allay some of the fears that have been expressed. This statement aims to answer questions and clarify information regarding HR 1313, employer-based wellness programs, and GINA.  It also explains where things stand with repeal and replacement of the ACA, and clarifies what may be considered a pre-existing condition. 

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

Hereditary Cancer Health Care Report

May 4, 2017
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with a new health care system.The new legislation allows states to seek a waiver from ACA's current requirement that insurers charge people the same for coverage regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition. It also eliminates mandatory coverage of essential health benefits such as maternity care, mental health, and preventive screenings. It's important to understand that this is only the first in a number of steps required to change the current U.S. health system. 

Screening & Prevention

FORCE Weighs In on Prostate Cancer Screening Guidelines

FORCE recently submitted comments on the USPSTF Draft Recommendation Statement and Evidence Review for Prostate Cancer Screening. Once finalized, these guidelines are utilized by health care providers to determine appropriate screening and care, and to inform insurance coverage decisions on specific preventive services. The Affordable Care Act stipulates that any preventive service receiving a USPSTF rating of “A” or “B” must be covered by most health plans with no copay or cost-sharing for the patient. Consequently, these guidelines impact access to care for members of the hereditary cancer community.

Genetic Testing & Counseling

Comments on Draft Research Plan for BRCA Testing Submitted

FORCE recently submitted comments on the USPSTF Draft Research Plan for BRCA-Related Cancer: Risk Assessment, Genetic Counseling, and Genetic Testing. The final Research Plan will be used to guide a review of scientific evidence to develop updated recommendations on BRCA genetic counseling and testing. These guidelines are utilized to inform coverage decisions on specific preventive services. The Affordable Care Act stipulates that any preventive service receiving a USPSTF rating of “A” or “B” must be covered by most health plans with no copay or cost-sharing. As such, these guidelines impact access to care and insurance coverage of services for the cancer community.

Genetic Privacy & Protection

New Legislation Threatens Genetic Privacy

H.R. 1313, the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, garnered a great deal of attention in recent weeks. On March 22nd, we received word that the bill is "on hold" and will not move forward without revisions—including changes to the genetic information requirements. Unfortunately, members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce indicated that they will push forward with modified legislation. We are working to ensure that any revisions to the proposed legislation reflect the concerns of those affected by hereditary cancer. Updates on this important issue will be provided when they are available. 

Insurance Coverage & Barriers

FORCE Supports Oral Chemotherapy Parity Initiatives

Oral chemotherapy is becoming more common and is the standard of care for many types of cancer. Oral treatment also accounts for about a third of the oncology development pipeline. Importantly, many oral anti-cancer medications do not have IV or injected alternatives, and are the only option for some patients. For this reason, these medications must be as affordable as their IV counterparts. FORCE is supporting the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, a national legislative initiative which strives to create equal insurance coverage of patient administered and physician administered cancer treatments.

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