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Final payment rules serve up more cuts to radiation oncology services

November 7, 2023

On Thursday, November 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized cuts of approximately 2% for radiation oncology services beginning January 1, 2024, as part of the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule. The Conversion Factor (CF) for 2024 will be $32.74, which is more than a 3% reduction from 2023’s final CF of $33.89. CY 2024 also marks the third year of the four-year phase in of the Clinical Labor Price update, which lowers payments to specialties that use expensive equipment, such as radiation oncology, in a budget neutral environment. Read ASTRO’s summary of the MPFS final rule for more information.

CMS concurrently issued the 2024 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) final rule. While CMS will increase payment rates under HOPPS by a factor of 3.1%, many of the payment rates for radiation oncology services will see cuts due to changes at the procedural level. Additionally, cuts to radiation oncology reimbursement under HOPPS are likely to continue to be the trend in future years as the growing use of hypofractionation causes declines in hospital technical revenue. Read ASTRO’s summary of the HOPPS final rule for more information.

These continued cuts underscore the need for ASTRO’s proposed Radiation Oncology Case Rate (ROCR) Program, which would secure stable payment rates, improve upon already excellent quality and reduce disparities. You can show your support for ROCR by signing your organization onto the letter of support to congressional leadership.