ASH President Submits Letter to HHS Secretary-Designate Tom Price Detailing the Society’s Policy Priorities

On behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), President Kenneth C. Anderson, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, submitted a letter to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary-designate Tom Price, MD, noting that the Society “looks forward to working with” Dr. Price and the HHS to further advance hematologic care.

“ASH strongly supports access to affordable, high-quality health care for all Americans,” Dr. Anderson wrote. “ASH asks that any move to amend or repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act preserve access to hematologists and effective treatments for patients with hematologic diseases.”

Specifically, the Society supports reforms that prohibit discrimination of patients with pre-existing conditions and lifetime benefit limits. ASH also encourages efforts to combat high drug prices, curtail out-of-pocket expenses, and limit the cost of drugs placed into specialty tiers.

The letter further stressed the promise demonstrated by immunotherapy, gene therapy, and regenerative medicine, and thus the need to continue funding for clinical research. “The field of hematology has experienced a recent surge in progress,” Dr. Anderson wrote. “Because this progress is largely due to federal investment, we ask that biomedical research support remain a top priority for the new administration.”

The letter also called for additional attention to sickle cell disease (SCD) at a federal level to encourage the use of multidisciplinary approaches to support access to care, education, research, and global health needs in SCD. ASH encouraged HHS to implement a multi-agency approach to deliver advancements to SCD patients more efficiently.

Lastly, ASH pledged commitment to working toward fixing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act to expand on quality measures for hematology and ensure implementation of the Quality Payment Program.

Read the full letter.

Source: American Society of Hematology press release, January 26, 2017.