News and Publications

ASTRO elections now open, new ASTRO 2019 session on cancer breakthroughs, prior auth bill introduced

June 12, 2019


Voting for ASTRO 2019 elections opens today
ASTRO's 2019 official elections are now open! Voting begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, June 12, and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 12. To view the nominees and access the ballot, visit www.astro.org/Vote and log in with your email address and password. The ballot and instructions will appear once you log in. If you need assistance with your login information, please send an email to Membership. Voting is conducted through a secure, online system that ensures the authenticity and secrecy of your ballot.


Why attend ASTRO 2019? Reason #2: A special session with a round-up of the oncology community’s advances and trends from the year
ASTRO’s 61st Annual Meeting has added an inspirational closing session, “Cancer Breakthroughs: Takeaways from the Major 2019 Oncology Meetings.” This session will highlight some of the major takeaways from the meeting, along with an overview of the advances from the past year and potential breakthroughs on the horizon for multidisciplinary cancer treatment. It will tie together key science from ASCO, AACR, ESTRO and ASTRO, so you’ll return to your practice inspired and energized. ASTRO 2019 takes place September 15-18 at McCormick Place West in Chicago. Be sure to register by June 27 to take advantage of the lowest early-bird rates and book your hotel now for the best choice of rooms.


ASTRO supports legislation to reform prior authorization
Congress has heard ASTRO's concerns related to the unnecessary burdens associated with prior authorization. The Improving Seniors' Timely Access to Care Act of 2019 (H.R. 3107), sponsored by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Rep. Roger Marshall, MD (R-Kan.) and Rep. Ami Bera, MD (D-Calif.), was introduced last week. The bill is an important first step toward reforming restrictive prior authorization practices that unnecessarily delay patient access to critical cancer treatments. For more information, please visit What’s Happening in Washington.

RO-APM webinar sheds light on the pending transition to value based payment
ASTRO is anticipating the release of a proposed rule describing a radiation oncology alternative payment model in the coming weeks. On June 4, in a recorded webinar, ASTRO staff covered “What we know, what we don’t know and what it all means” with regard to the model. The webinar included details on the construct of the anticipated model as well as answers to viewer questions. ASTRO members are encouraged to review the webinar recording in order to prepare their own practices for model implementation.


New on the Blog: New methodology guide for developing ASTRO guidelines
Clinical guidelines play an important role in shaping radiation oncology practice, and ASTRO has been developing these documents for more than a decade. Recently, a guideline methodology guide was written to provide members, reviewers and other societies with a high-level overview of how ASTRO guidelines are created, from topic selection through publication and implementation. Learn more in this new blog on the impetus behind the guide and the key steps of guideline development. The blog also spotlights recent changes to the process and format of upcoming guidelines, which were designed to make the documents more user friendly and valuable to clinicians. Read more.

New! Patient videos now available with closed captioning
We are pleased to announce that ASTRO’s patient education videos are now available with closed captioning. The videos cover an introduction to radiation therapy as well as information on radiation therapy for brain tumors, breast cancer, gynecologic cancers, head and neck cancers, lung cancer and prostate cancer. Visit ASTRO.org to view videos or pick up the embed code for use on your website. Videos are also available for purchase from the ASTRO Product Catalog. If you have already purchased the videos without closed captioning, you can redownload them free of charge from your downloads under MyResources. If you have questions or feedback, please reach out to ASTRO Communications.


CMS issues RFI seeking feedback on the ‘Patients over Paperwork’ initiative
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback from physicians, patients and others in the health care community regarding further changes to policies and procedures that would shift more clinician time from compliance with paperwork and reporting requirements to providing high-quality care that improves patient health. The agency is particularly interested in comments on the use of prior authorization, coding and documentation requirements, as well as the impact of regulatory requirements on rural practices. ASTRO is reviewing the RFI and will issue comments prior to the August 12 deadline.


June ASTRO Academy course discount
In June, ASTRO members can receive a 10% discount on two prostate cancer courses: Patient Reported Outcomes in NRG Oncology RTOG 0938, Evaluating Two Ultrahypofractionated Regimens for Prostate Cancer and Challenging Cases in the Management of newly Diagnosed and Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Use Coupon Code 2019JUNESavings by June 30!


Aurora Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic – Sheboygan receives APEx® accreditation
Congratulations to Aurora Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, for successfully completing the APEx program! View a list of accredited facilities. Contact ASTRO APEx staff for additional information on the APEx program for your facility.


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