News and Publications

#ASTRO22 LBAs submission site is open, DEI Master Class, Advocacy updates

August 3, 2022

Late-breaking Abstract submission site for ASTRO 2022 closes Monday, August 10
Do you or a colleague have new, cutting-edge research that you’d like to share at ASTRO 2022? Original research abstracts will be selected for late-breaking presentations at the ASTRO Annual Meeting based on scientific merit, timeliness and interest to ASTRO’s members and attendees. Visit the Annual Meeting Abstracts page for more information and to submit your Late-breaking Abstract. The abstract submission site is open through Monday, August 10, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

Sign up for the DEI Master Class
Join us at the ASTRO 2022 Master Class, “Centering on Equity: Reflecting on Unconscious Bias, Dominant Culture and Privilege,” where you will be immersed in an interactive experience to learn important skills that you will be able to build into your clinical practice. This year’s theme on unconscious bias will feature a keynote presentation that will help attendees understand racism and discrimination in the U.S., and how they contribute toward social determinants of health. Exercises will focus on addressing health disparities in your community, building an equitable culture within your hospital or department and creating strategies on thriving as a minoritized group. Register today!

House advances Prior Auth legislation
On July 27, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee took significant action on the ASTRO-backed H.R. 8487, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2022, by voting to reform prior authorization. The next action is consideration and a full House vote. More than a third of senators have co-sponsored the Senate version (S. 3018), and ASTRO continues to encourage additional Senate support to pass the bill through both chambers and, hopefully, for President Biden’s signature this year. Please view this Advocacy Minute for more.

Did you miss the end of treatment summary call?
Generating end of treatment summary reports for patients and referring physicians has, to date, been an arduous, manual process. However, those days will soon be behind us! Since 2020, ASTRO has led an effort to ease that burden, making auto generated, meaningful summaries possible. The recorded presentation is now available showing the successful data capture, aggregation and transfer of standardized radiation therapy summary information associated with five different hypothetical patients among Varian, RaySearch and Epic. 

Register for the ASTRO “ROCKS” web session “Understanding the NIH Summary Statement”
The next Research-Oriented Career Knowledge and Support (ROCKS) web session will be held on August 24, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. During this free web session, experienced investigators will share their collective insight from numerous successful and unsuccessful grant submissions to help decode the NIH Summary Statement language and improve the effectiveness of the response. The targeted audience includes junior to mid-career researchers who are either trying to secure their first major NIH award or maintain consistent NIH support. The session seeks to demystify the NIH review process and enhance the communication between reviewers and PIs. Registrants will also have an opportunity to sign up for 1:1 consultation with the panelists and other experienced researchers. If interested in consultation, please register by August 12. Availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis. View more details and register via the ASTRO Academy. For questions, or to pre-submit questions for the panelists, please email science@astro.org.

CMS seeks feedback on improvements to the Medicare Advantage Program
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a Request for Information seeking stakeholder input on several issues involving Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, including advancing health equity, expanding access to quality care, supporting affordability and sustainability and tackling prior authorization. CMS is seeking information on how plans use prior authorization and other utilization management techniques, and how those plans decide which services or providers are exempt from those requirements. ASTRO plans to issue comments by the deadline of August 31.

ASTRO’s State Regulatory Library available for state regulatory requirements
Have questions about updating your license to administer radiopharmaceuticals? ASTRO’s State Regulatory Library is available to help. The library is a state-by-state set of links to regulations governing the use of ionizing radiation and radioactive materials and now contains links to state radioactive materials protection programs for specific questions about your state’s regulations and licensure requirements for radioactive materials.

New ASTRO Advances journal SA-CME activity available
A new Advances in Radiation Oncology journal course, Disparities in the Utilization of Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer in the United States: A Comprehensive Review, is available in the ASTRO Academy. This SA-CME credit course will provide practitioners with the knowledge needed to appropriately utilize palliative QUAD radiotherapy for elderly or frail patients. Registration is now open in the ASTRO Academy and ASTRO members receive a discount on all journal courses.

Overton Brooks VAMC is the first in Louisiana to earn APEx Accreditation
Congratulations to Overton Brooks VAMC for being the first practice in Louisiana to achieve accreditation through ASTRO’s APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence®. Overton Brooks VAMC has demonstrated they have policies and procedures that promote effective communication, coordinated treatment, and willingness to engage patients and their families as partners in care. 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.