|Here’s a rundown of ASTRO’s latest efforts in advocacy and health policy related issues.
MedPAC recommends increase in Fee Schedule base payment rate The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its March Report to Congress, recommending an update to the 2023 Medicare base payment rate for physician and other health professional services of 50% of the projected increase in the Medicare Economic Index. ASTRO joined other medical specialty societies in submitting a letter to Congress supporting the full implementation of the inflation-based update, rather than just the 50% MedPAC recommendation.
ASTRO sends letter to FDA expressing concern over supply of Pluvicto
ASTRO sent a letter to the FDA expressing concern about patient access to Lutetium LU 177 Vipivotide Tetraxetan (Pluvicto) and support for Novartis’ request for expedited review of their Milburn, New Jersey, production facility. Currently, Novartis is shipping doses from their production facility in Italy to the United States. Failures to meet demand have patients either not receiving their full treatment or experiencing treatment delays.
ASTRO asks Congress to address radiation oncology workforce shortages
ASTRO urged Congress to address workforce shortages among radiation oncology health professionals in a March 20 letter in response to a request for information from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Noting that radiation oncology clinics are facing severe shortages among radiation therapists, dosimetrists, nurses, medical physicists, patient navigators and clinical trial coordinators, as well as a maldistribution of radiation oncologists, the letter suggested several policy solutions.
Urge your senators to support continued funding increases at the NIH
Steady investment in the NIH and its institutes, particularly the National Cancer Institute, is critical to maintaining current research progress and expanding the opportunities for potentially life-saving innovations. Use ASTRO’s Advocacy Action Center to send a message to your senators asking them to sign the bipartisan letter led by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Robert Casey (D-PA) urging a robust budget for NIH in Fiscal Year 2024.
CMS prepares practices for end of PHE
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a fact sheet on what to expect as the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency comes to an end.