News and Publications

Refresher Course early-bird reg ends today; CMS guidance on E/M changes; Fellows nominations

February 17, 2021

Today is the early-bird deadline for ASTRO Annual Refresher Course
Be sure to register today, February 17, to take advantage of the lower early-bird rates for next month’s ASTRO Annual Refresher Course, taking place online March 19-21. This practical meeting will feature an interactive format combining recorded sessions with live Q&A and networking opportunities. The program includes sessions with updates on the most current treatment options for all major disease sites with a look at the emerging trends and technologies that may impact practices in the future. There will be five Live SA-CME sessions with the opportunity to earn up to seven MOC Part 2 SA-CME credits, and ASTRO designates this meeting for a maximum of 17.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. View the full schedule of events to see all sessions, faculty and networking options.

Nominating Committee welcomes candidate suggestions through February 24
ASTRO’s Nominating Committee will soon begin the process of selecting candidates for the 2021 elections. The following positions are available: 

  • President-elect: Four-year term with one year as President-elect, one year as President, one year as Chair and one year as Immediate Past Chair.
  • Vice-chair of the Health Policy Council and Vice-chair of the Science Council: The Vice-chairs serve a four-year term with two years as Vice-chair and two years as Chair.
  • There are also three positions on the Nominating Committee, all with three-year terms: one Academic Physician, one Community Practice Physician and one Physicist.

The Criteria for Elected Positions can be viewed on the ASTRO website. To recommend a colleague or yourself for one of the above positions, please send the name of the nominee, the position you would like the nominee to be considered for and the reason for your recommendation by email to the ASTRO Nominating Committee. Nominations must be received by close of business on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

CMS issues additional guidance on 2021 E/M changes
Effective January 1, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted new coding guidance for Evaluation and Management (E/M) CPT codes 99201-99215 based on the AMA E/M documentation framework. The updated language was presented in the 2021 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule. On February 11, the Medicare Learning Network released a fact sheet regarding the E/M code changes that focuses on the proper use of G2212 for prolonged visits and confirms the delayed application of G2211 for visit complexity. The document also provides information regarding how a medical review is conducted for time-based visit levels. For more information, see the ROhub post on this topic.

ASTRO urges Congress to extend moratorium on Medicare sequester cuts
ASTRO has joined the American Medical Association and 123 other physician groups in sending a letter to congressional leadership supporting legislation to extend the current moratorium on Medicare cuts through the duration of the public health emergency. With a March 31 deadline looming, the organizations support the passage of H.R. 315, the bipartisan Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act, that would effectively continue the moratorium as physician practices still face overwhelming financial challenges and lost revenue. For more, see What’s Happening in Washington.

Nominations for ASTRO Fellow now open

Nominations are now being accepted for the ASTRO Fellow Program. ASTRO Fellowship is awarded to Active, Emeritus and International members based on length of continuous ASTRO membership, service to ASTRO and contributions to the field of radiation oncology. The deadline for submitting an application is May 7. View a list of past Fellow recipients and read more about the nomination process.

New SA-CME course available in the ASTRO Academy
A new course is available in the ASTRO Academy: Updates in Pediatric CNS Malignancies: Ependymoma, Germ Cell Tumors and Medulloblastoma - 2020 Annual Meeting. The course, available for 1.25 SA-CME credits, was presented at ASTRO’s 2020 Annual Meeting, held virtually October 25-28, 2020, and addresses key points to note in managing ependymoma, treating medulloblastoma and examining the role of radiotherapy in treatment of CNS germ cell tumors in the 21st century. See more courses, including the onDemand Best of ASTRO course from the 2020 Annual Meeting, available at ASTRO Academy.

PowerPoint presentation on RT for sarcomas available
A new PowerPoint presentation on sarcoma, designed for residents and fellows in the fields of surgery, medical oncology, pathology and radiology, is available for download. The presentation focuses on radiation therapy as a component of the multidisciplinary treatment of sarcomas. Other available presentations include Radiation Therapy for Health Care Providers and Radiation Therapy for the General Public, as well as disease-site specific presentations. Users may customize the slides to fit their target audience. The Communications Committee is continuing to develop presentations for providers and welcomes feedback on the ROhub.

SoFi update on federal student loans
President Biden issued an executive order directing the Department of Education to extend until September 30, 2021, the provision of the March 2020 CARES Act that paused the payment collections and suspended interest accrual for government held federal student loans. Learn how this may impact your loans at SoFi Learn. While federal student loans are on pause, now may be a good time to look at your private student loans. ASTRO members receive a 0.125% interest rate discount on student loan refinancing at SoFi.com/ASTRO.

Northeast Radiation Oncology Center earns APEx accreditation
Congratulations to Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, for completing ASTRO’s APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence®. To be fully accredited, a facility must meet a majority of the APEx standards in a satisfactory manner, and the accreditation status is valid for four years. View a list of APEx-accredited facilities, and contact ASTRO staff for additional information on how your practice can earn APEx accreditation — The Right Choice for radiation oncology practices.