September 9, 2021
Today, ASTRO submitted official comment letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the 2022 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule, as well as needed changes to the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO Model), as found in the 2022 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) proposed rule. Due to the proposed actions in both rules, radiation oncology cancer treatment services would experience $300 million in reductions effective January 1, 2022. Roughly half of the $300 million in cuts stem from the RO Model, while the rest are caused by proposed changes to the 2022 MPFS. ASTRO has provided an executive summary of the two comment letters.
ASTRO is very concerned about the financial implications that both proposals will have on access to care for cancer patients and the viability of radiation oncology practices, particularly those practices that serve rural and disadvantaged communities. In addition to comment letters, ASTRO issued an official statement and launched an advertising campaign to urge the Biden Administration to take action against these significant reductions. Please amplify these messages via your social media accounts by quote retweeting ASTRO’s tweets on the topic and tagging the President (@POTUS), HHS (@HHSgov or @SecBecerra), CMS (@CMSgov or @BrooksLaSureCMS) and your members of Congress.
ASTRO anticipates that final rules will be issued in November. During the interim, ASTRO will continue to advocate for changes to these proposals through continued engagement with CMS, as well as with members of Congress and the Biden Administration. ASTRO already has met with senior officials at the White House and Health and Human Services Department, as well as congressional health care leaders, with more meetings planned. ASTRO also is working closely with radiation oncology stakeholder organizations on a unified advocacy strategy to combat the cuts.