July 13, 2021
This evening, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the Medicare physician fee schedule proposed rule for 2022, with a policy change that would reduce payments for radiation oncology services by as much as 5% next year. ASTRO will provide members with a summary and detailed analysis of the proposal in coming days and will submit comments to the agency later this summer. The radiation oncology reduction is primarily due to increases in clinical labor pricing for some specialties, which has the effect of lowering payments to specialties that use expensive equipment, such as radiation oncology, in the budget neutral environment for practice expense. If CMS implements the changes fully for 2022, radiation oncology would face a 5% decrease; however, the agency is considering a 4-year transition that would limit the radiation oncology reduction in 2022 to 2%. The proposed rule contains no new information on the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model, except to say that CMS expects the model to be an Advanced Alternative Payment Model in 2022. ASTRO expects additional rulemaking on the RO Model.
Read ASTRO's MPFS Proposed Rule summary.