NCRA and NAACCR’s Effort to Strengthen VA Cancer Reporting Collaboration Signed into Law

Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Builds a New Collaboration in Support of Counting Veterans’ Cancer

ALEXANDRIA, VA, UNITED STATES, March 15, 2024 / — As part of the FY 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, on March 9th, President Biden signed into law a new collaboration to strengthen State Cancer Registries’ ability to include cancer data from Department of Veterans Affairs Health Facilities. This action will ensure veterans’ cancer cases are fully accounted for in national cancer surveillance. In turn, this will help identify cancer-related disparities among veterans, improve the understanding of the cancer-related needs of veterans, and increase opportunities for veterans with cancer to be included in clinical trials, cancer-related research, and analysis.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is America’s most extensive integrated healthcare system, serving 9 million enrolled Veterans annually. This first-ever overarching partnership between the VA and State cancer registry agencies on the sharing of cancer data will contribute to a more accurate picture of cancer in the US and is a significant step forward for veterans and their families.

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) commend House and Senate Appropriators for including a directive in the Committee Report on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies appropriations bill to count veterans’ cancer comprehensively. The directive is a two-phase effort: first, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs must submit a plan to Congress detailing how the agency will implement this effort by June 8th, followed by a requirement to implement that plan by October 1st, 2024.

NCRA and NAACCR engaged with the sponsors of the original legislation to achieve this outcome, the Counting Veterans Cancer Act, in both the House and Senate, along with appropriators, to encourage action on this issue. Maria Teresa Ramirez, President of NCRA, and Wendy Aldinger, President of NAACCR, noted that this effort succeeded due to a bipartisan commitment to cancer statistics and the public health value they bring. “NCRA and NAACCR offer a sincere thank you to Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), along with Representatives Jennifer Kiggans (R-VA) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), for their leadership on this critical issue. NCRA looks forward to continued work with the Counting Veterans Cancer Act sponsors to communicate priorities and provide oversight in developing this plan.”

You can read the full text of the Committee Report here, with the directive to the VA for reporting to State cancer registries on pages 33 and 34.

Lauren Martella
National Cancer Registrars Association
+1 703-299-6640
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