News | Radiation Therapy | July 20, 2021

ASTRO Responds to Troubling Medicare Cuts, Radiation Oncology Model Update

ASTRO just issued the following statement in response to the Radiation Oncology Model update in yesterday's HOPPS proposed rule, which compounds significant and detrimental cuts to the cancer care specialty in the proposed 2022 MPFS

ASTRO just issued the following statement in response to the Radiation Oncology Model update in yesterday's HOPPS proposed rule, which compounds significant and detrimental cuts to the cancer care specialty in the proposed 2022 MPFS

Getty Images

July 20, 2021 — In response to consecutive weeks of proposed Medicare payment cuts to radiation oncology cancer care, Thomas J. Eichler, M.D., FASTRO, Chair of American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), issued the following statement:

“Access to radiation therapy for people with cancer is under attack. For two consecutive weeks, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has singled out radiation oncology for payment cuts that put access to cancer care for Medicare beneficiaries in peril – at a time when cancer incidence rates are rising due to delayed screenings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. By proposing to cut high-value radiation treatments by as much as 22% and proceeding with more than $160 million in reductions under the Radiation Oncology Model (RO Model), CMS is jeopardizing the ability of the nation’s radiation therapy professionals to continue to provide essential care for their patients now and in the future. Access to life-saving cancer treatments will suffer, and the viability of clinics already reeling from the pandemic will be at considerable risk if these proposals are finalized.

Given this urgent situation, the radiation oncology community calls upon President Joe Biden, a lifelong champion in the fight against cancer, to immediately intervene on the flawed RO model and proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule cuts. Likewise, we ask Congress to continue its longstanding support for radiation oncology care by taking action to blunt CMS’ draconian cuts and reform the RO model.

ASTRO remains committed to value-based care and to constructively engaging with CMS on reasonable ways to improve these policies. We are eager to help President Biden achieve his goal of ending cancer as we know it, and we are developing promising approaches to reduce health care disparities in cancer treatment. These difficult policy challenges require investments in our human and technological cancer care infrastructure that would be virtually impossible under the current proposals. Massive cuts such as those proposed by CMS will set us back, not move us forward, and ASTRO will vigorously oppose these threats to radiation oncology and our patients.”

For more information: www.astro.org

Related Content

GE Healthcare unveiled Revolution Ascend with Effortless Workflow, offering clinicians a collection of artificial intelligence technologies that automate and simplify time-consuming tasks to increase operational efficiency and free up time for clinicians to deliver more personalized care to more patients.
News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 27, 2021
September 27, 2021 — GE Heal
Scientists have identified two subtypes of metastatic prostate cancer that respond differently to treatment, information that could one day guide physicians in treating patients with the therapies best suited to their disease.

Getty Images

News | Prostate Cancer | September 24, 2021
September 24, 2021 — Scientists have identified two subtypes of metastatic...
Owkin, a startup that deploys artificial intelligence (AI) and Federated Learning technologies to augment medical research and enable scientific discoveries, presented findings in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) with Cleveland Clinic at the 2021 European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference.

Illustration courtesy of Cleveland Clinic

News | Artificial Intelligence | September 24, 2021
September 24, 2021 — Owkin, a startup that deploys...
The "Global Surface Guided Radiation Therapy (SGRT) Devices Market, By Device Type (Portable v/s Fixed), By Application (Breast Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, Abdominal & Pelvic Cancer, Dermatology, Others), By End User, By Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2026" report

Image courtesy of Varian

News | Radiation Therapy | September 24, 2021
September 24, 2021 — The ...
The National Cancer Institute announced that Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center and City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center secured a highly competitive Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant that aims to address lung cancer racial disparities through precision medicine, targeted smoking cessation programs and community outreach.

VCU Massey Cancer Center director and SPORE principal investigator Dr. Robert Winn explains how this grant will help combat racial inequities in lung cancer. Image courtesy of VCU Massey Cancer Center

News | Lung Imaging | September 23, 2021
September 23, 2021 — The National Cancer Institute announced tha
The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatment outcomes and the reporting of data represents a major step forward for an increasingly important medical subspecialty, according to a report in Radiology.

Getty Images

News | Radiation Oncology | September 21, 2021
September 21, 2021 — The development of new research guidelines for interventional oncology that standardize treatmen
Non-oncology doctors’ knowledge of oncology is frequently not up to date, with risks in the communication with patients  

Getty Images

News | Radiation Oncology | September 20, 2021
September 20, 2021 — The rapid pace of developments in the oncology field, mainly brought by cancer immunotherapy, me
IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), a world leader in particle accelerator technology, and SCK CEN (Belgian Nuclear Research Center) announced a strategic R&D partnership to enable the production of Actinimum-225 (225Ac), a novel radioisotope which has significant potential in the treatment of cancer.
News | Radiation Oncology | September 17, 2021
September 17, 2021 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A., EURONEXT), a world leader in particle accelerator technology, a
Strategies to help guide nuclear radiology teams at various healthcare systems in 2021 and beyond
Feature | Nuclear Imaging | September 16, 2021 | By Staff of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC)
A year after COVID-19 turned the world upside do
This is an example of 3-D ultrasound imaging on a breast, designed to help increase efficiency and diagnostic accuracy in any practice. Image courtesy of Hologic.

This is an example of TriVu ultrasound imaging on a breast, designed to help increase efficiency and diagnostic accuracy in any practice. Image courtesy of Hologic.

Feature | Breast Imaging | September 15, 2021 | By Jennifer Meade
The...