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ASTRO responds to CMS announcement on delayed Radiation Oncology Model start date

ARLINGTON, Va., October 21, 2020

In response to today’s announcement that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will delay the start date for the Radiation Oncology Model from January 1 to July 1, 2021, the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from Theodore L. DeWeese, MD, FASTRO, Chair of the ASTRO Board of Directors:

"ASTRO appreciates today’s announcement by CMS Administrator Seema Verma that CMS will delay the Radiation Oncology Model launch from January 1, 2021, until July 1, 2021 based on feedback from ASTRO and other radiation oncology stakeholders. This change is an important recognition of the radiation oncology community’s concerns, and we are pleased and thankful that Administrator Verma listened to the needs of our member radiation oncology practices during these challenging times.

We are hopeful that the delay represents the first step toward full, open engagement with ASTRO on ways to ensure that the RO Model achieves our shared goals of higher quality, lower cost cancer care. We remain seriously concerned with excessive payment cuts in the model that will cause significant financial strain on practices and risk patient access to radiation treatments.

ASTRO is committed to a successful alternative payment model for radiation oncology, and we look forward to working with CMS during the delay period to ensure that the concerns of ASTRO and its more than 10,000 members, as well as cancer patients, members of Congress and other radiation oncology stakeholders are addressed."

For more information on the Radiation Oncology Model, visit our press kit.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the world’s largest radiation oncology society, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. The Society is dedicated to improving patient care through professional education and training, support for clinical practice and health policy standards, advancement of science and research, and advocacy. ASTRO publishes three medical journals, International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Practical Radiation Oncology and Advances in Radiation Oncology; developed and maintains an extensive patient website, RT Answers; and created the nonprofit foundation Radiation Oncology Institute. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website and follow us on our blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.