April 20, 2020
ASTRO joined 45 physician representing organizations in urging Congressional leadership to block payment cuts associated with evaluation and management (E/M) code changes slated for implementation on Jan. 1, 2021. In a letter sent April 17, the organizations noted that now is not the time to implement any payment policy changes that will exacerbate the financial instability of healthcare providers’ practices. It is estimated that radiation oncology would face cuts of approximately 5% due to the E/M changes. ASTRO and other physician groups are concerned that providers who do not frequently or ever bill E/M codes will experience unnecessary burden. Also, the organizations convey that given the current public health crisis, this code implementation would add additional financial hardship to the healthcare community that is already sacrificing income to protect against further virus spread.