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Proposed radiation oncology alternative payment model to test new approach to cancer treatment payments

ARLINGTON, Va., July 10, 2019

In response to today’s announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to propose an advanced alternative payment model (APM) for radiation oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from Paul Harari, MD, FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors:

“The Radiation Oncology (RO) Model announced today by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) is a step forward in allowing the nation’s 4,500 radiation oncologists to participate in the transition to value-based care that improves outcomes for cancer patients. We believe that once implemented with modifications, the model will incentivize higher quality, more convenient radiation treatments for patients and support their journey toward a cure.

We look forward to providing comments on the specifics of the model, including requirements for certain radiation oncology groups to participate. In our comments to CMS, ASTRO will prioritize recommendations that achieve our longstanding payment reform goals, including stable and fair payments accompanied by incentives for higher quality care and lower costs. In addition, ASTRO will look closely for opportunities to ensure the model is consistent with the Administration’s initiative to reduce physician burden and paperwork.

ASTRO has worked for many years to craft a viable payment model that would stabilize payments, drive adherence to nationally-recognized clinical guidelines and improve patient care. We appreciate the Administration’s focus and commitment to ensuring radiation oncologists' ability to participate in an advanced APM.”

ABOUT ASTRO
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the world’s largest radiation oncology society, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. The Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers; and created the nonprofit foundation Radiation Oncology Institute. To learn more about ASTRO, visit astro.org or RTanswers.org, sign up to receive our news and follow us on our blog, Facebook and Twitter.

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