October 22, 2020 — In response to the Oct. 21 announcement that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will delay the start date for the Radiation Oncology Model from Jan. 1 to July 1, 2021, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from Theodore L. DeWeese, M.D., FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors:
"ASTRO appreciates today’s announcement by CMS Administrator Seema Verma that CMS will delay the Radiation Oncology Model launch from January 1, 2021 until July 1, 2021 based on feedback from ASTRO and other radiation oncology stakeholders. This change is an important recognition of the radiation oncology community’s concerns, and we are pleased and thankful that Administrator Verma listened to the needs of our member radiation oncology practices during these challenging times.
We are hopeful that the delay represents the first step toward full, open engagement with ASTRO on ways to ensure that the RO Model achieves our shared goals of higher quality, lower cost cancer care. We remain seriously concerned with excessive payment cuts in the model that will cause significant financial strain on practices and risk patient access to radiation treatments.
ASTRO is committed to a successful alternative payment model for radiation oncology, and we look forward to working with CMS during the delay period to ensure that the concerns of ASTRO and its more than 10,000 members, as well as cancer patients, members of Congress and other radiation oncology stakeholders are addressed."
For more informaton: www.astro.org