In response to concerns expressed by ASTRO and the broader radiation oncology stakeholder community, Congress included a provision in the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Package that prevents the Department of Health and Human Services from implementing the radiation oncology alternative payment model or “RO Model” before January 1, 2022. The 950 practices compelled to participate in the RO Model will continue to be paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) or Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) for 2021. ASTRO is very pleased with this decision, as a July 1, 2021, start date would have relegated practices to a purgatory status in which they would have spent six months complying with MIPS requirements, while also operating under the new APM. The lack of any incentive made this not only untenable but also financially punitive. ASTRO will use this additional time to push for modifications to the discount factors and the onerous reporting requirements associated with the RO Model with the new Administration, so that practices can successfully participate beginning January 1, 2022.
This page is designed to provide radiation oncology practices with resources for implementing the final rule, ASTRO’s advocacy efforts to address the Model’s flaws and background that details the model’s development over the last several years.