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ABSG Leaders Promote Community-Based Care to White House, Congress, CMS


On April 13th Barry Fortner, President of Oncology Supply and Brad Tallamy, Director of Government Affairs, ABC met with President Trump’s top health advisors on the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Barry urged White House staff not to implement harmful policies, such as Part B payment cuts or reinstatement of the failed Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) which would disproportionately harm community-based care and increase costs for patients and Medicare. In response to the Administration’s request for ideas to lower drug prices, Barry encouraged staff to consider policies aimed at increasing competition in the marketplace by incentivizing robust generic and biosimilar markets, promoting increased  provider competition by removing Part B sequester cuts and correcting the prompt pay reimbursement error. Barry also stressed the importance of better infrastructure and more streamlined processes to bring value-based arrangements and higher value treatments to market quicker. White House staff appreciated our insights and requested an ongoing dialog as they consider myriad options to lower drug prices, one of President Trump’s enduring commitments. ABC committed to partnering in this effort given our broad insights across the supply chain and leadership in developing innovative, patient-centric solutions.

Barry Fortner, President of Oncology Supply after meeting with Trump Administration officials at the White House


Following the White House visit, on April 27th James Frary, EVP and President ABSG, Dave Leverette, President Provider Solutions, Barry Fortner, Mark Santos, President ION GPO, Vicki Albrecht, EVP and GM ION Solutions, Bob Dowling, VP Medical Affairs and Policy ION Solutions, Shannon Coven, VP ION GPO, Brian Ansay, VP ION, Lisa Harrison, Sr. Director Pharmacy and Clinical Services ION Solutions, Peter Covert, VP Operations Oncology Supply, Branham Hanchey, Director Customer Service Oncology Supply, and Gary Shaban, Sr. VP of Sales for Oncology Supply hit Capitol Hill to reinforce this message and thank Members for supporting community-based care.  The team met with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX), Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OH), Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Gene Green (D-TX), and Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA). Our leaders reminded Members that community-based specialists are well-equipped to continue providing high quality, cost-effective patient care, but encouraged them to support legislative and regulatory efforts to remove sequestration, correct prompt pay, address DIR fees, and support innovative alternative payment models in order to preserve this site of care.


Rita Norton, Mark Santos, James Frary, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Barry Fortner, Bob Dowling, and Dave Leverette


James Frary, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) Dave Leverette, and Barry Fortner


After joining colleagues from ASCO, ACCC, Cardinal Health, and McKesson on panels at the Annual COA Conference, on April 29th ABSG and ABC Government Affairs leaders joined Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) at ION’s Large Practice Program Advisory Panel (LPP) prior to the National Meeting in Washington, D.C.  Senator Cassidy outlined his proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), The Patient Freedom Act of 2017 , which would grant states power to “increase access to health insurance and improve patient choice, while preserving important consumer protections” from the ACA.  Senator Cassidy touted his legislation as a solution that meets the needs of ACA supporters as well as those who desire a more market-based approach.  Senator Cassidy also touched on issues of concern to community oncologists, such as 340B, sequestration, prompt pay, OCM’s 2-sided risk program, and drug pricing generally.

Rita Norton, Barry Fortner, James Frary, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mark Santos, Brad Tallamy

On May 1st, Barry Fortner, Rita Norton, SVP of Government and Public Policy, and Brad Tallamy brought our message to recently confirmed Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma.  Ms. Verma acknowledged the value of community-based care and confirmed that the Agency is looking wholeheartedly at drug pricing and is currently assessing many separate proposals, including value-based pricing.  Barry, Rita, and Brad offered to be a resource to these discussions and encouraged Ms. Verma to support efforts to remove sequestration, correct prompt pay, and address concerns regarding CMS’ Oncology Care Model’s 2-sided risk program in order to provide immediate relief for our ION customers.  

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