Association of Northern California Oncologists


2015 Annual Report

The Association of Northern California Oncologists (ANCO) was organized in 1990 to be an advocate for, educate, and inform the practicing hematologist/oncologist. ANCO currently represents 488 hematologists/oncologists throughout northern California who practice in the community as well as at the regional academic cancer centers—Stanford University, UC Davis, and UC San Francisco) and The Permanente Medical Group. We serve the interests of our physician members, their nurses and practice managers, and people living with cancer. ANCO is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), a state/regional affiliate of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and (along with the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC) the specialty delegation representative for hematology/oncology at the California Medical Association (CMA).

ANCO is dedicated to the delivery of the highest quality care to people living with cancer by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas, data, and knowledge and by representing the interests of physicians and people living with cancer. To these ends, ANCO disseminates information via e-mail, FAX broadcast, the ANCO FAX News, the California Oncology Weekly (jointly with MOASC), and its website; sponsors clinical education meetings for physicians and nurses and professional education meetings for physicians, and nurse and practice managers; and, advocates on behalf of physicians and people living with cancer before State and Federal government agencies, regional and national hematology/oncology and medical societies, and insurance and pharmaceutical companies. ANCO’s goal is to defend and preserve the autonomy of hematologists/oncologists and to provide the highest quality cancer care to people living with cancer.

ANCO’s clearly defined objectives are to:

  • Disseminate the latest and best information impacting the practice of hematology/oncology to members.
  • Provide clinical education to physicians and nurses and professional education to physicians, nurses, and practice managers.
  • Serve as an advocate and liaison for its members before regional and national organizations (i.e., government, private, and corporate).
  • Play an active role in the reimbursement environment on behalf of physicians, nurses, managers, and people living with cancer.

Under the direction of the Board of Directors and leadership of President Daniel P. Mirda, M.D., and Executive Director José Luis González, ANCO continues to make progress in accomplishing its goal and these objectives. The 2015 Annual Report summarizes the activities and accomplishments of 2015 and describes plans for 2016.

Administration

A full-time Executive Director under the direction of the ANCO Officers and Board of Directors efficiently and effectively manages ANCO. Fundraising efforts continue to be successful through the Corporate Membership Program. ANCO renewed the Institutional Memberships of Stanford University, UC Davis, and UC San Francisco and the Group Membership for The Permanente Medical Group. And, ANCO retained current and recruited new physician members. In conclusion, ANCO is a financially sound organization that is proud to be viewed by government, corporate, and other medical organizations throughout California and the United States as a leader among state oncology societies.

Specifically:

  • ANCO’s Board of Directors met on one occasion, teleconferenced regularly, and communicated via e-mail on many occasions. Summary minutes of these Board meetings are available from the ANCO office. Among the items discussed and acted upon by the Board were:
    • – nominations and elections to the Board.
    • – elections of a Secretary and Treasurer (for two-year terms).
    • – an FY2015 budget and investments for the Association.
    • – designation of ANCO representatives to various forums (e.g., ACCC, ASCO, ASH, CMA, and MOASC).
    • – advocacy efforts on behalf of individual ANCO members and hematologists/oncologists in general before ACCC, ASCO’s State Affiliate Council, and the California Medical Association; and Noridian/JEMAC’s Contractor Advisory Committee (for Medicare), DHCS/MediCal, Department of Managed Health Care, and CMS; state and national regulatory and legislative bodies (i.e., Cal-OSHA, California State Legislature and Congress); and, a variety of private insurance companies.
    • – clinical and professional education proposals; and, cosponsored or comarketed programs organized by ACCC, ASCO, ASH, and Corporate and Institutional Members.
    • – membership benefits (Staff Salary Survey) and activities.

The Board will continue to meet once and teleconference regularly in 2016. Group and Institutional Member contacts will be routinely included in ANCO Board meetings. ANCO and MOASC Boards of Directors will continue to be invited to each other’s meetings.

  • FY2015 will end with a surplus of approximately $99,000 and assets of approximately $550,000. (Exact financial information will be available after December 31st, 2015.)

The 2016 budget will also show an excess of expenses over revenues. There will be no increases in any membership dues. The $50 contribution to the California Oncology Political Action Committee, or CalCancerPAC, will continue to be included (on a voluntary basis) in the basic membership dues. CalCancerPAC raises funds in support of candidates in California friendly to cancer care.

  • $309,000 was raised through ANCO’s Corporate Memberships during 2015. Five (5) new Corporate Members were added to the roster in 2015 (i.e., Biodesix, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals, Taiho Oncology) and six (6) Corporate Members did not renew their memberships for 2015 (i.e., Agendia, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Axess Oncology, Innovatix, McKesson Specialty Health, and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals). ANCO raised Corporate Membership dues and introduced a new Sustaining Level Corporate Membership in 2015.

ANCO is very appreciative of the support provided by our Corporate Members:

Sustaining Level
($20,000 and more per year)
Astellas Oncology • Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals/Onyx Pharmaceuticals • Celgene
Taiho Oncology • Takeda Oncology • Teva Oncology

Diamond Level
($12,000-$19,999 per year)
AMGEN • Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology • Eisai • Genentech BioOncology • Incyte
Janssen Biotech • Lilly Oncology • Merck • Novartis Oncology • Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacyclics • Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals

Gold Level
($6,000-$11,999 per year)
AstraZeneca • Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals • Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions • Genomic Health
Medivation • NanoString • Pfizer Oncology • Seattle Genetics

Silver Level
($1,200-$5,999 per year)
Alexion Pharmaceuticals • Biodesix • Daiichi Sankyo • Dendreon • Foundation Medicine
Genoptix Medical Laboratory • Gilead Sciences • Helsinn Oncology
Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals • Jazz Pharmaceuticals • Oncology Supply/ION • Prometheus Therapeutics & Diagnostics
Sanofi Oncology • Sargas Pharmaceutical Adherence & Compliance (SPAC) International

Current Corporate Members will be asked to renew and encouraged to increase their membership support level in 2016. Non-renewing Corporate Members will be asked to rejoin ANCO. And, several new Corporate Memberships will be solicited.

Current Group and Institutional Members will be asked to renew and additional organizations will be invited to join.

  • There are currently 488 physician members in ANCO, a decrease of 15 (-3.0 %) from 2014. Of these, 157 are community (156) or government (1) based hematologists/oncologists, 11 are retired from full-time medical practice, 220 are affiliated with one of the three regional academic cancer centers—Stanford University (74), UC Davis (46), and UC San Francisco (100)—and 100 practice at The Permanente Medical Group (at 21 locations). One hundred (100) members practice at seven (7) multi-site (often multi-disciplinary) community practices (ranging in size from 7 to 23 physicians at 2 to 12 sites). Finally, 56 members practice in 41 single-site practices (ranging in size from 1 to 6 physicians).

Individual members will be asked to renew and new memberships will be solicited in 2016.

Advocacy

ANCO advocates on behalf of all hematologists/oncologists to improve the healthcare environment for physicians, their nurses and practice managers, and people living with cancer. In general, the Board deliberated on and recommended policies, and was represented and communicated these policies at a variety of forums in 2015.

Specifically:

  • ANCO sent representatives to ASCO’s State Affiliate Council meetings.
  • ANCO continued its relationship with Noteware Government Relations, a Sacramento-based advocacy firm; monitored cancer-related and general medical legislation; and, worked with the CMA to help pass, improve, and/or defeat cancer-related legislation, amongst other pieces of legislation; including,- AB159, would grant access to investigational drugs to terminally-ill patients; ANCO opposed this legislation; the Governor vetoed this legislation.

    – AB339, would require patient cost-sharing for prescription drugs to be reasonable and allow patients to spread out their out-of-pocket costs for maintenance drugs; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.- AB366, would reverse cuts made to the DHCS/MediCal program and start California on a path to a sustainable DHCS/MediCal program; ANCO supports this legislation.- AB374, would prohibit a health service plan or health insurer that provides medications pursuant to a step therapy or fail-first requirement from applying that requirement to a patient who has made step therapy override determination request if, in the professional judgment of the prescribing physician, the step therapy or fail-first requirement would be medically inappropriate for that patient for specific reasons; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.- AB637, would expand the number and type of providers who can assist patients in establishing their end-of-life orders; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.- AB1060, would establish the Cancer Clinical Trials Foundation whose mission would be to increase access to cancer clinical trails for all patients, especially women and underrepresented communities; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor vetoed this legislation.- AB1162, would require all tobacco cessation medications, counseling, and assessments to be covered for DHCS/MediCal patients; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor vetoed this legislation.

    – SB140, would regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product; ANCO supports this legislation.

    – SB149, would grant access to investigational drugs to terminally ill patients; ANCO opposes this legislation.

    – SB151, would raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21; ANCO supports this legislation.

    – SB243, would reverse cuts made to the DHCS/MediCal program and start California on a path to a sustainable DHCS/MediCal program; ANCO supports this legislation.

    – SB277, would remove the personal belief exemption currently allowed for immunizations required for school or child care enrollment and require schools to publically provide information about their immunization rates; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.

    – SB282, would authorize a physician to use an electronic process developed specifically for transmitting prior authorization information that is consistent with the existing standardized form; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.

    – SB482, would mandate checking the CURES database prior to first prescribing or dispensing a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance upon certification by the Department of Justice that CURES is ready for statewide use; ANCO opposes this legislation.

    – SB671, would update current law and allow pharmacists to substitute biologic medicines with a new class of FDA-approved treatments called biosimilars; ANCO supported this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.

    – AB2x 15 (SB128), the End-of-Life Options Act, would authorize physicians to prescribe life-ending medications to terminally ill patients for the purpose of ending their lives; ANCO opposed this legislation; the Governor signed this legislation.

    • Hematology/Oncology, as represented by ANCO and MOASC, was represented at the CMA’s Specialty Delegation, Council on Legislation, and House of Delegates.

  • ANCO and MOASC raised funds for CalCancerPAC that supports candidates and legislators friendly to hematology/oncology.
  • ANCO communicated with Noridian/JEMAC to discuss Medicare issues in California and the Department of Health Care Services to discuss Medicaid (DHCS/MediCal) issues.
  • ANCO communicated its concern with coverage policies at a variety of private insurance companies.
  • ANCO participated in the drafting of AB1202 (Safe Handling of Antineoplastic Drugs in Health Care) Cal-OSHA regulations.

ANCO will continue to advocate on behalf of its constituents before government agencies, payers and corporations, and medical societies in 2016. The Board of Directors welcomes and encourages feedback from members on issues of importance that require organizational intervention and advocacy efforts.

Meetings

The ANCO Board of Directors continued to implement its clinical and professional educational strategy in 2015.

Specifically:

  • Clinical Education Meetings. Three (3) ANCO-organized clinical education meetings took place in 2015:

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Highlights 2014 (with Frederick Dirbas, M.D., Jyoti S. Mayadev, M.D., and George W. Sledge, Jr., M.D.)

Regional Hematological Malignancies Updates (with Brian A. Jonas, M.D., Ph.D., Michaela Liedtke, M.D., and Thomas G. Martin, M.D.)

ANCO Event at ASCO’s Best of ASCO (with David R. Gandara, M.D., and Peter Paul Yu, M.D.)

Molecular Diagnostics & Clinical Decision Making (with Oliver Dorigo, M.D., Ph.D., Jeffrey Paul Gregg, M.D., Elaine Jeter, M.D., Joseph Kim, M.D., M.P.H., W. Michael Korn, M.D., Ph.D., Tianhong Li, M.D., Ph.D., and Philip James Stephens, Ph.D.)

ANCO also cooperated in marketing ACCC, ASCO, ASH, and Corporate and Institutional Member meetings; and, other oncology meetings in 2015.

In 2016, ANCO will host its San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Highlights 2015, Regional Hematological Malignancies Updates, and ASCO Highlights 2015. In addition, ANCO and the Stanford School of Medicine are co-sponsoring the 16th Multidisciplinary Management of Cancers: A Case-based Approach at Silverado in March 2016. This program will be presented in collaboration with the Stanford Cancer Institute, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

  • Professional Education Meetings. ANCO’s professional education meetings and webcasts present speakers on topics about the management of office-based medical practices and hematology/oncology reimbursement techniques. Participants not only learn at these meeting, but they also form a network of resources to turn to when billing and reimbursement and management issues arise. Two (2) successful professional education meetings/webcasts were held in 2015:

Medicare Reimbursement for Oncology 2015 & Federal Legislative/Regulatory Updates (with Roberta Buell, M.B.A., and Kristin McDonald)

ANCO’s 2Q2015 Professional Education Meeting (with Roberta Buell, M.B.A., Thomas R. Barr, M.B.A., Risë Cleland, and Elaine L. Towle, C.M.P.E.)

Quarterly professional education meetings and webcasts on timely issues of importance are anticipated for 2016.

Information Dissemination

The ANCO FAX News, a biweekly summary of advocacy, educational, membership, and Association news, was FAXed to each member practice and e-mailed to ANCO Group and Institutional Members and Corporate Member contacts (for redistribution to their colleagues). The California Oncology Weekly, a joint publication with MOASC, is e-mailed and FAXed to the same audience weekly. ANCO FAX/e-mail broadcasts kept members and others up-to-date on important information to hematology/oncology practices.

ANCO maintained an updated online edition of the Directory of Members in 2015. Besides a comprehensive listing of ANCO physician members, nurses, and managers, the Directory also includes an updated list of Corporate Member drug reimbursement and patient assistance programs, and ANCO’s Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. Both the Directory and drug reimbursement and patient assistance programs will be regularly updated at www.anco-online.org/ANCODIR.pdf and www.anco-online.org/assistance.html, respectively.

ANCO’s independent website (www.anco-online.org) is a major resource to members on all matters related to the Association.

The ANCO FAX News, California Oncology Weekly, and FAX/e-mail broadcasts will continue to evolve and inform members and the hematology/oncology community of issues of importance in 2016.

Membership Benefits

ANCO continues to seek ways to make membership more beneficial. The Board constantly identifies, reviews, and approves of additional membership benefits. Members are encouraged to suggest ideas to the Executive Director and the Board for consideration.

Information

For more information about ANCO membership and activities, please contact:

José Luis González, Executive Director
Association of Northern California Oncologists
Post Office Box 151109 • San Rafael, CA 94915-1109
Voice: (415) 472-3960 • execdir@anco-online.org • FAX: (415) 472-3961
www.anco-online.org