9/2/05 -- To help its members and their patients, ASCO has compiled this list of oncology practices, cancer centers and hospitals in the surrounding region that are operational and able to absorb patients in need of acute care.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (O PHEP) is in the process of identifying and mobilizing healthcare professionals and relief personnel to assist in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. As our nation and the global community is now aware, the healthcare needs resulting from Katrina has reached an extremely critical nature. HHS has released details on types of assistance needed and how to volunteer here.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has acted to assure that the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Programs will flex to accommodate the emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and medical providers in the Hurricane Katrina devastated states. Following a waiver signed yesterday by HHS Secretary Leavitt, many of the programs' normal operating procedures will be relaxed to speed provision of health care services to the elderly, children and persons with disabilities who depend upon them. Details of these provisions may be found at www.cms.hhs.gov/hki/. Also, the full text of a letter from CMS Administrator, Dr. Mark McClellan, may be found here.

Several practices have indicated they are open and able to take cancer patients who have been dislocated and are in need of acute care. The list of practices can be found here.

The Hurricane Katrina Message Board has already begun to work in reconnecting providers and patients. If you have been dislocated from your practice, or if you are seeking to contact a provider whose patient you are now treating, post your message on the Katrina Message Board.

Read more at www.asco.org.