AJMC July 20, 2021
Mary Caffrey

Due to unprecedented disruption and missed screenings during the pandemic, efforts to implement a 5-year performance period under the Radiation Oncology Model were extended twice.

Once again, the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model is the subject of proposed changes under CMS’ annual Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment System rulemaking. For several years, CMS has proposed a model that would test whether making site-neutral payments to physician practices, including free-standing radiation therapy centers, would “preserve or enhance” care quality while reducing Medicare spending.

However, the head of the organization representing radiation oncologists criticized CMS’ plans; Thomas J. Eichler, MD, chair of American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), declared, “Access to radiation therapy for people...

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