SGO Issues Sept 19, 2019

SGO Issues September 19, 2019

Over 100 meetings held during #SGOFlyIn Day
Complete the SGO 2020 Practice Survey by Sept. 30
SGO Annual Meeting abstract and surgical film submission deadline extended
Board Positions Open – Apply by Oct. 7
Volunteer for an SGO Committee/Task force – Apply by Oct. 14
GOG Foundation/AAOGF announce Mentored Clinician-Scientist Career Development Award
Rare Cancer Day declared on Oct. 1

Over 100 meetings held during #SGOFlyIn Day

L-R: Saketh Guntupalli, MD, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, (D-AZ), John Farley, MD, COL (ret)

L-R: Emily Hill, MD; Ellen Engle; Jill Rathbun; Alison Saiz, MD; Stephanie Wethington, MD

On Sept. 12, a total of 34 participants—24 gynecologic oncologists and 10 patient advocates from 22 states–took part in the third annual #SGOFlyIn Day. This was the largest #SGOFlyIn event to date, with a total of 104 meetings with representatives from 58 US House districts and 56 Senate districts. “I am very happy with our fly-in day this year,” said Matthew Carlson, MD, vice chair of the SGO Legislative & Regulatory Taskforce. “We advocated for several pieces of legislation, including Medicaid coverage for clinical trial participation and improving timely access to care for seniors. These will positively impact the care we provide to our patients. We appreciate the support from the SGO and the GOG Foundation, that allowed us to expand these important programs.”

This year the SGO ambassadors and patient advocates met with elected officials about four main legislative priorities:

Carol Lacey; Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA); Diana Pearre, MD; Rachel Miller-Garcia

  1. Securing $35 million for the Department of Defense (DoD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program (OCRP) for Fiscal Year 2020—to ensure that the DoD OCRP is contained in the House-approved FY 2020 Department of Defense Appropriations bill in any final conference report or omnibus legislation for FY 2020.
  2. Securing additional co-sponsors for H.R. 3107, “Improving Seniors Timely Access to Care Act of 2019”– This bipartisan legislation would make the following changes to how Medicare Advantage plans can administer prior authorization on items and services:
  • Create a “real-time” electronic prior authorization process, developed by the Secretary of HHS, for items and services that are routinely approved;
  • Improve transparency by requiring plans to report to CMS on the extent of their use of prior authorization and the rate of approvals or denials; adopt transparent prior authorization programs that are reviewed annually and adhere to evidence-based medical guidelines, and hold plans accountable for making timely prior authorization determinations and providing rationales for denials;
  • Prohibit additional prior authorization for medically necessary services performed during a surgical or invasive procedure that already received prior authorization or did not require prior authorization.
  1. Securing additional co-sponsors for H.R. 913, “The Clinical Treatment Act”—This bipartisan legislation would guarantee coverage of the routine care costs of clinical trial participation for Medicaid enrollees with a life-threatening condition. Passage of H.R. 913 will:
  • Reduce disparities in cancer care by covering routine costs of clinical trials for patients with Medicaid coverage and ensure access to the high-quality, high value cancer care.
  • Improve quality of cancer research by improving the representation of underrepresented minorities and ethnic groups in clinical trials, which would improve the validity of clinical research data and the quality of new treatments.
  • Cover only routine costs of care that would have a minimal effect on overall care costs, since the cost of the investigational device or drug would still be covered by the trial sponsor.
  1. Securing additional co-sponsors for H.R. 3129/S. 1735, “Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019”— Jeanette Acosta was a former Hill staff and White House intern that lost her battle with cervical cancer at age 32. This legislation would expand access to preventive, lifesaving women’s health screenings, with a focus on breast and gynecological cancer screenings, at safety net healthcare providers for low-income women and women of color. Specifically, the bill would:
  • Authorize the HHS to provide support to public or nonprofit entities to expand certain preventive health services, with an emphasis on increasing access to cancer screening, particularly for women of color.
  • Reauthorize programs related to breast and gynecologic cancers under Medicaid and family planning programs, and the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
  • Require the HHS to establish a demonstration grant program to train health care providers regarding breast and gynecologic cancer screening.
  • Direct HHS to conduct a study and report on access to women’s preventive cancer screening, including cancer rates by state, cancer screening by state, and estimated federal savings achieved through early detection of breast and gynecologic cancer.

For more photos from this year’s #SGOFlyIn day, visit SGO’s Flickr site.

Complete the SGO 2020 Practice Survey by Sept. 30

Lee-may Chen, MD, explains why she is participating in the SGO 2020 Practice Survey:
“The practice of gynecologic oncology is changing quickly. The age of precision medicine in surgery and targeted treatments is upon us. How we offered genetic testing 5+ years ago is different from what we do now. Education and medical record documentation are both more rigorous. The more members we survey, the more we will understand how to practice better, find common causes to lobby for, and identify areas that we can share improvements for our patients.”

SGO Annual Meeting abstract and surgical film submission deadline extended

The deadline has been extended to 11:59 p.m. CT on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, to submit abstracts and surgical films for presentation consideration at the SGO 2020 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Toronto, Canada. Please review the abstract guidelines prior to your submission. Contact SGO’s education team at education@sgo.org with any questions.

Board Positions Open – Apply by Oct. 7

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) is seeking committed members to apply for the leadership positions listed below on the SGO Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving, please review the board service and election FAQs and complete the self-nomination form. The deadline to apply is Monday, Oct. 7. The positions are as follows:

  • President Elect II (one-year term; total time commitment of four years)
  • Secretary-Treasurer Elect (two-year term; total time commitment of four years)
  • Three (3) Board member positions (three-year term)
  • Fellow-in-Training (FIT) Representative (one-year term)

Volunteer for an SGO Committee/Task force – Apply by Oct. 14

SGO is now seeking volunteers to serve on committees and task forces for the 2020 program year. The committee and task force descriptions are listed on the SGO website, and certain committees will serve a joint purpose for the SGO and the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC). The duration of an appointment is generally two (2) years with the option for reappointment. To apply, review the committee and task force descriptions and submit the 2019 Committee Volunteer Form by 11:59 p.m. CT on Monday, Oct. 14.

GOG Foundation/AAOGF announce Mentored Clinician-Scientist Career Development Award

On Sept. 12, the GOG Foundation and the American Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Foundation (GOG Foundation/AAOGF) announced the Mentored Clinician-Scientist Career Development Award. The objective of this award is to support mid-career faculty development in clinical trials, enhance retention, and maximize opportunities for long-term success, in order to maintain and secure a pipeline of investigators who will be the future leaders in developing novel therapeutics for gynecologic cancers. The deadline for online submissions is Nov. 15.

Candidates must have been awarded an M.D. or D.O. degree, completed subspecialty training in Gynecologic Oncology, and must be certified by ABOG at the time of the award. Candidates for the AAOGF/GOG Foundation scholarship must be a member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. At least 20% of the candidate’s efforts should be spent in clinical trial development, clinical trial oversight, clinical trial research training and the conduct of research.

The total annual funding to the awardee is $75,000/year for two years. Funds to support travel to the annual AAOGF fellows’ retreat must be set aside. The balance of funds may be used for salary, clinical trial and technical support, and supplies. The award is made under the direction of the AAOGF Scholar Committee and GOG Foundation Education and Mentoring Committee.

Rare Cancer Day declared on Oct. 1

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has declared Oct. 1 #RareCancerDay. Spearheaded by the NORD Rare Cancer Coalition, which is comprised of 24 rare cancer-specific member organizations, this first-ever Rare Cancer Day will highlight the challenges people living with rare cancers face and unify individuals living with rare cancers for awareness and early diagnosis. The goal of #RareCancerDay is to raise critical awareness of rare cancers and the need for greater research funding and patient support. A social media kit is available to download to help increase awareness of rare cancers. NORD is also hosting a special webinar on Oct. 1 at 1:00 p.m. ET/ 12:00 p.m. CT including Carol DeSantis, an American Cancer Society researcher and leading voice on rare cancer epidemiology. The Foundation for Women’s Cancer has information for patients on several rare gynecologic malignancies, such and vaginal and vulvar cancers, gestational trophoblastic disease and primary peritoneal cancer.