News and Publications

#ASTRO21: Digital XP and safety update, New Ask a Rad Onc session, Phase 4 of Provider Relief Fund

October 6, 2021

What’s new on Digital XP: Platform opens Friday + PRO Program now available
We hope you’re as excited as we are to log in to the Digital XP platform! Beginning on Friday, Digital XP and full conference registrants will be able to log in to www.astro.org/AMDigitalXP using your ASTRO username and password—the one you used to register for the annual meeting. (If you don’t know your ASTRO password, please click “Forgot my password” through the ASTRO website.) We encourage you to start out by building your profile. Next, you can begin to network with other participants. In Digital XP, you’ll be able to search for colleagues and request and schedule video calls with individuals or small groups. Sessions will not be available until the start of the Annual Meeting. View the schedule for presentation times. In other news, the PRO Program is now available as an add-on to Digital XP! Make the most of your experience by modifying your registration and adding on the PRO Program and ticketed events including eContouringthe Grant Writing Workshop and two SA-CME sessions. Not registered yet? Learn more about Digital XP and register.

ASTRO 2021: Safety overview, FAQs and yes, there’s still time to register

Safety is a priority at ASTRO 2021. Laura Thevenot, ASTRO CEO, shares an overview of the Annual Meeting safety protocols in this short video. Do you still have questions about the Annual Meeting? View the recording from the recent Ask Me Anything session hosted by members of the Annual Meeting Steering Committee and ASTRO staff for the answers to frequently asked questions. And if you haven’t registered yet, don’t worry. There’s still time to register — act now!

Sens. Stabenow and Burr lead letter to stop the $300M in Medicare cuts
Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are leading a new letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure urging action to reduce the excessive payment cuts to radiation therapy services included in the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and RO Model. The letter echoes ASTRO’s calls to reduce the Model’s discount factors and protect providers from cuts in the MPFS that stem from updates to clinical labor pricing. The more senators who sign on to this letter, the greater the pressure on CMS to make changes before the MPFS and Model’s January 1, 2022, implementation date. Visit astro.org/advocate to send a message to your senators urging them to sign on and protect cancer patients’ access to lifesaving care in their communities. While visiting our Advocacy Action Center, you can also send a message to your representative in the House urging them to sign on to a similar letter to CMS led by Representatives Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

Apply now for Phase 4 of Provider Relief Fund
The new application cycle is open for $25.5 billion in COVID-19 provider funding from the Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 and American Rescue Plan Rural payments. Applicants have until October 26 to submit their applications via the Health Resources and Services Administration portal. Funding is available to a wide range of providers who have experienced or are experiencing revenue changes caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Private interview rooms available at ASTRO 2021, register for ASTRO Career Fair
Are you attending the ASTRO Annual Meeting and want to schedule interviews with job candidates in a quiet location? Private interview rooms are available to rent for three-hour blocks. For more information and availability, contact Todd Karstaedt. Be sure to register for the Career Fair and use the scheduling feature in the ASTRO Career Center or on the Meeting’s official app, MyASTROApp, to request an interview or meeting. The improved and redesigned Career Center, which launched in early September, better connects top employers with radiation oncology professionals. To log in to the Career Center, use your ASTRO username and password. Post open jobs or upload your resume, then schedule your interview in the Career Center or on the MyASTROApp platform.

Ask a Radiation Oncologist: Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer session
For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ASTRO recorded a new Ask a Radiation Oncologist session on breast cancer. This Q&A session features ASTRO Communications Committee member Kiri Cook, MD, and ASTRO members Roberto Diaz, MD, Oluwadamilola Oladeru, MD, and Jean Wright, MD, who answer frequently asked patient questions about radiation therapy and breast cancer. The video is available on the RTAnswers YouTube channel and the RTAnswers website, where you can also view our other Ask a Radiation Oncologist videos.

New course on ASTRO Academy on palliative care
Deep Dive on Palliative Care aims to educate on the current status of prognostic tools and their application. The case-based activity includes review of communication techniques surrounding prognostication with these new therapies as well as treatment decision making. The course is designed to meet the interest of radiation oncologists, radiation therapists and radiation dosimetrists and offers 2.25 SA-CME credit. Upon course completion, learners should be able to discuss patterns of radiation delivery at the end of life, distinguish the different eligibility requirements of trials that have defined the oligometastatic paradigm in lung cancer, describe the indications for palliative thoracic radiation and the rates of success, deliberate radiotherapy for brain metastases and utilize an algorithm for creating a treatment plan for patients with spine metastases.

APEx resources during flu season
As we enter flu season and continue to manage reduced staffing due to COVID-19, it is important that radiation oncology practices have a set process for locums and other temporary staff. Does your practice have a plan in place for locum orientation and training on practice specific processes? ASTRO’s APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence® ensures that these processes are set and that the entire team is educated and involved. Review the APEx Standards and contact APEx@ASTRO.org for more information on how to prepare your practice.

St. Francis Radiation Oncology receives APEx accreditation
Congratulations to St. Francis Radiation Oncology, in East Hills, New York, for recently completing ASTRO's APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence®. To be fully accredited, a facility must meet a majority of the APEx standards in a satisfactory manner. View a list of accredited facilities and contact ASTRO staff to learn about the new options for accreditation and why APEx is The Right Choice™ to accredit your radiation oncology practice.