News and Publications

Celebrate PSAW, Advocacy Day travel grant deadline

March 15, 2023

Patient Safety Awareness Week is here!
This week, March 12 - 18, is Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW). We invite clinicians and practices to share your #ROsafety stories and use provided handouts to post a selfie or group photo on social media during #PSAW23. Engage in ASTRO’s APEx accreditation and RO-ILS programs to demonstrate your practice’s dedication to championing safety! Thanks to generous contributions by sponsors and supporters, participation in RO-ILS is free. For more ideas on how to celebrate, read this recent blog and share your activities!
New on the Blog: Miami Cancer Institute first to use APEx’s new satellite synchronization process
ASTRO’s APEx – Accreditation Program for Excellence® has introduced a new satellite synchronization process to promote continuous quality improvement and alignment of procedures for practices with newly built or acquired facilities. The process is open to APEx-accredited practices that want to add facilities during the accreditation process or within the first three years of their four-year accreditation cycle. Miami Cancer Institute was the first to take advantage of this process with their newly added satellite facility in Plantation, Florida. Read about their experience and contact ASTRO staff to learn more about this opportunity and how it may benefit your practice.
New Red Journal podcast: The past and future of RPT in radiation oncology
Red Journal Editor-in-Chief Sue Yom, MD, PhD, FASTRO, recently hosted a podcast on the status of radiopharmaceutical therapy in the field. Guests include ASTRO President Jeff Michalski, MD, FASTRO, Paul Wallner, DO, FASTRO, and Thomas Boike, MD. They discuss newly published articles on the history and future of RPT use and a response to those thoughts.
Advocacy Day: Register now, travel grant applications due March 20
Advocacy Day 2023 is a two-day event held May 22 - 23 in Washington, D.C. Chelain Goodman, MD, PhD, who previously attended Advocacy Day on a travel grant shared, “ASTRO Advocacy Day provides an opportunity for radiation oncologists and other professionals in the field to engage with policymakers, discuss the most critical challenges facing radiation oncology from a health care policy perspective and advocate for policies that will improve patient care.” Residents and nurses are invited to apply by March 20 for one of 15 travel grants. This is an incredible opportunity to explore the legislative process as it relates to radiation oncology. Register now, we can’t wait to see you in D.C. in May!
What’s happening in Washington
Here’s a rundown of ASTRO’s latest efforts in advocacy and health policy related issues.
  • ASTRO fights for research funding increases as Biden administration releases budget request ASTRO staff joined the One Voice Against Cancer coalition at their annual lobby day to advocate for funding increases at NIH, NCI and other programs and signed a letter by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research echoing the call for increased NIH funding. In addition, we break down the cancer related requests in the Biden administration’s FY 2024 budget request.
  • ASTRO backs proposals to reduce prior authorization burden ASTRO urged CMS to finalize proposed requirements for electronic standardization of prior authorization for all Medicare and Medicaid payers. The letter supports CMS’ proposal to establish standardized API Implementation Guides for patients and providers and a payer-to-payer data exchange API.
  • ASTRO-supported Resident Education Deferred Interest Act reintroduced The ASTRO-supported bipartisan led Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act (H.R. 1202) has been reintroduced. If passed, the act would allow borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on their student loans while serving in a medical or dental internship or residency program.
  • ASTRO joins physician groups in urging CMS to improve the MIPS Value Pathway ASTRO, together with more than 30 physician organizations, sent a letter to CMS outlining areas to improve quality, patient outcomes and efficiencies in the MIPS Value Pathway (MVP) program. The letter urges CMS to align MVP with Alternative Payment Models, reduce burdens for MVP participants and ensure MVPs remain voluntary.
  • ASTRO submits petition to include accreditation for radiation oncology facilities in Massachusetts ASTRO submitted a petition for rulemaking in Massachusetts to include accreditation requirements for radiation oncology facilities and to differentiate between CT used for diagnosis and CT used for radiation oncology simulation. Current regulations require that all CT scanners be accredited by ACR, even those used for simulation.
Open access: ASTRO 2022 Presidential Symposium session IV
Due to the popularity and broad appeal of a Presidential Symposium session at the ASTRO 2022 Annual Meeting, we made it available to everyone. "EI and AI: Caring for the Patient in a Wireless World" highlights the importance of the physician-patient relationship, including the need to focus on communication, empathy and attention to a patient’s quality of life. View the session, Human Doctors, Human Patients, free on the ASTRO YouTube channel.
Deadlines approaching for ASTRO recognition awards
Submit your nominations for the prestigious ASTRO recognition awards. See the details on nomination deadlines and eligibility requirements for each award category: Awardees will be recognized during the Awards Ceremony at the 2023 Annual Meeting in San Diego.