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CMS to unveil mandatory payment model for radiation oncology

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | November 09, 2018
Insurance Rad Oncology

“ASTRO believes it is important to acknowledge that any radiation oncology payment model will represent a significant departure from the status quo. Care must be taken to protect access to treatments for all radiation oncology patients and not disadvantage certain types of practices, particularly given the very high fixed costs of running a radiation oncology clinic,” CEO Laura Thevenot said in a statement. “ASTRO is committed to working with Secretary Azar and CMMI to ensure payment stability for radiation oncology practices and the highest quality of care for people who need radiation therapy services.”

The use of mandatory models does not necessarily do away with voluntary ones all together. In addition, HHS has “reexamined” its decision to reduce the size of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement, and plans to revisit the use of two mandatory cardiac care models shut down last year by the government.

“We intend to revisit some of the episodic cardiac models that we pulled back, and are actively exploring new and improved episode-based models in other areas, including radiation oncology,” said Azar. We’re also actively looking at ways to build on the lessons and successes of the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement model. We will use all avenues available to us – including mandatory and voluntary episode-based payment models.”

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