ASTRO believes that the RO Model, if improved, represents a step forward to allow the nation’s 4,500 radiation oncologists to participate in the transition to value-based care that will incentivize higher quality radiation treatments for patients. However, in official comments submitted to CMS on Sept. 16, ASTRO expressed concerns that the proposal falls short of what’s needed to achieve the promise of an alternative payment model for radiation oncology.
Specifically, an ASTRO analysis estimates that the RO Model would cut payments to required participants by approximately $320 million during the 5-year period—an excessive amount that would derail this unique opportunity. ASTRO recommended specific, significant changes to the proposal that would incentivize the use of high-quality, efficient radiation therapy treatments to drive value-based reform while still providing savings for Medicare.
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ASTRO has worked with CMS and bipartisan legislators over the past several years to develop a viable payment model that would stabilize payments, drive adherence to nationally-recognized clinical guidelines and improve patient care. ASTRO believes that with significant modifications, the RO Model could represent a meaningful approach to enable the field of radiation oncology to participate in the evolving world of health care payment reform.
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 . Back to HCB News