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#ASTRO23 virtual options, Funding opps from ASTRO-ACS & ROI, ASTRO comments on 2024 MPFS & HOPPS

September 13, 2023

Attend ASTRO 2023 from the comfort of your home or office
We know not everyone can travel to San Diego to attend the in-person ASTRO Annual Meeting, so we’re offering the next best opportunity — Virtual Full Conference registration. The Virtual Meeting includes real-time access to the education and scientific sessions as they occur along with the PRO weekend programming streamed live from San Diego. The live virtual platform allows you to interact with presenters using Social Q&A and you can also apply for CME credit. Narrated posters will be available in the virtual poster library and on the MyASTROApp and Annual Meeting Portal. All this plus onDemand access is included with registration. Of course, we hope to see you in San Diego, but if you can’t join us in person, be sure to register for the Virtual Full Conference.
Early-bird reg closes soon for the Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium
The 2023 Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancer Symposium provides a collaborative and collegial setting for the most comprehensive meeting for radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, physicists and practitioners specializing in thoracic cancer care! Don’t miss your opportunity to earn CME and learn about the latest trends in treating thoracic cancers. Save when you register by September 22.
‘24 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium: Register and book your housing now
The 2024 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium — Accelerating Collaborative Science and Patient-Centered Care — will take place at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, February 29 - March 2, 2024. This meeting brings together radiation and medical oncologists, head and neck surgeons, members of the treatment team and other specialists in a highly interactive and practical meeting for the head and neck cancer community. View the schedule to see the session titles and renowned faculty that we have planned. Book your housing and register early for the best rate! If you have research you are interested in presenting at the meeting, we are accepting abstracts through Wednesday, October 18, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.
Save the date for the 2023 Coding and Coverage Seminar
Mark your calendar now for the ASTRO 2023 Virtual Coding and Coverage Seminar on Saturday, December 9. The seminar will address the many factors that affect this complex and ever-changing aspect of clinical practice with the goal of making clinical coding easier to understand and apply to your practice. Attendees will learn about coverage and coding policies specific to the field of radiation oncology; coding pitfalls; how to assign accurate coding to a clinical case study; how to apply coding for radiation oncology by modality; and more. Along with your registration, you will receive an electronic and print version of the 2024 ASTRO Coding Resource (up to $1,000 value). Registration will open on September 29 so check back to register!
ASTRO-ACS Clinical Scientist Development Grant application deadline
The deadline for applications for the 2024 ASTRO-American Cancer Society (ACS) Clinician Scientist Development Grant (CSDG) is October 16. The goal of the ASTRO-ACS CSDG is to foster the research career of a clinician scientist in radiation oncology. At a minimum, to be eligible, an applicant must have a clinical doctoral degree with an active license to provide clinical care or be a board-certified medical physicist at the time of the application. The award may be for three to five years with $135,000 a year for direct costs, plus 8% allowable indirect costs. Apply through proposalCentral by searching for ACS funding opportunities and then selecting the ACS-ASTRO CSDG grant mechanism.
AMA requests feedback on 2022 MIPS performance
On August 10, CMS released MIPS performance feedback and final scores for the 2022 performance year, which determines the payment adjustment in 2024. Physicians can view this information on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website using their HCQIS Access Role and Profile (HARP) credentials. If a clinician believes there was an error in the calculation of the MIPS final score, they can request a targeted review (PDF download) by October 9. We strongly encourage you to view this information as soon as possible. If you feel comfortable, you can share de-identified score and corresponding payment adjustment information to help ASTRO and the AMA advocate against Medicare physician payment cuts in 2024. This will inform an understanding of the impact of MIPS on physician payment in 2024 and can help us in our conversations with the Administration and Congress about ensuring physician payment supports high-quality care to Medicare patients. Please send 2022 MIPS final scores and expected adjustments.  
World Patient Safety Day — RO-ILS and APEx’s role
World Patient Safety Day was established in 2019 by the World Health Assembly and embodies the fundamental principle of medicine — first, do no harm. The event is observed on September 17 and seeks to promote global action to prevent and reduce avoidable harm in health care. This year’s theme is “Engaging Patients for Patient Safety.” Does your practice track safety events, hold interdisciplinary safety meetings, and implement measures to prevent future incidents? Does your practice have a culture of safety that fosters open dialogue on patient safety concerns and solutions? ASTRO’s APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence® promotes patient-centered care and involvement of the entire team. Review the APEx Standards and email for more information on how to elevate your practice for your staff and your patients. And, since its existence, RO-ILS has released more than 50 educational resources. Consider participating in RO-ILS.
ASTRO comments on 2024 Medicare Payment Rules, urges action
On September 7, ASTRO submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) proposed rules. ASTRO’s comments objected to continued cuts to radiation oncology services under the MPFS and responded to requests for information in the HOPPS proposed rule. ASTRO members should contact Congress now to support ASTRO-backed legislation to mitigate clinical labor-triggered radiation oncology cuts. Read What’s Happening in Washington for more information.
New ROI funding opportunity aims to increase access to radiotherapy
The Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI) is accepting letters of intent (LOI) for its latest funding opportunity, “Advancing Care for All: Innovations to Drive Access to Radiotherapy.” Through this request for proposals, ROI will fund grants of up to $100,000 for research that will lead to increased access to radiotherapy and advance care for all patients with cancer. All applicants must submit an LOI by November 13 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time to be eligible for grants that will be awarded in Spring 2024. Visit the ROI website to learn more about the new request for proposals and how to apply. 
It's not too late to register for the ROI 5k!
Join hundreds of your colleagues for the ROI 5k, powered by Varian, a Siemens Healthineers Company! This year’s race will be hosted on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00 a.m. along the San Diego waterfront. Everyone is welcome — including runners AND walkers! All funds raised will benefit the Radiation Oncology Institute (ROI), ASTRO's research foundation. Register now.
Reminder: Let your voice be heard for Hispanic Heritage Month
In advance of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) we want to hear from our Hispanic members about why this awareness month is important to you, why you chose radiation oncology as a specialty or why Hispanic representation is important for patients. Send an email to the Social Media team with your insights and we will highlight your perspective on social media during the upcoming awareness month.
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