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Press Kit: Radiation Oncology Payment Reform

The Radiation Oncology Case Rate (ROCR) Value-Based Payment Program Act of 2024, introduced by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), John Joyce, MD (R-Pa.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), would safeguard access to high quality cancer treatments for patients nationwide, improve patient outcomes and reduce health disparities while generating savings for Medicare.

ROCR would:

  • Shift Medicare’s current, outdated per-treatment payment system to a more patient-centered approach
  • Usher in a new era of stable payments and higher quality care while generating savings for Medicare
  • Reduce disparities that create barriers for patients to access and complete radiation treatments
  • Safeguard the ability for patients to receive cutting-edge care close to home

Physician leaders are available on request for media interviews about ROCR and ASTRO’s work toward payment stability for radiation oncology. For the latest updates from our Advocacy team, visit What's Happening in Washington.

ROCR Press Materials

  • Press Release: Bipartisan bill to modernize radiation oncology reimbursement introduced in Congress (5/15/24)
  • Press Release: Radiation oncology physician groups unite to ensure patient access to cancer care (1/9/24) 
  • Official Statement: Medicare physician payment final rule cements more cuts to radiation oncology, underscores need for legislative fix (11/2/23) 
  • Press Release: ASTRO President to speak at President’s Cancer Panel meeting about radiation oncology’s critical contributions to national goals (9/7/23)
  • Official Statement: New proposed rule continues cuts to Medicare reimbursement; Legislative remedies needed to protect patients’ access to care (7/13/23)
  • Blog Post: ASTRO Releases New Radiation Oncology Payment Reform Legislative Proposal (6/28/23)

Visit ASTRO's Radiation Oncology Case Rate (ROCR) program hub for information geared toward ASTRO members, including FAQs, a recorded webinar with ASTRO's Health Policy Council leaders and other resources.

Radiation Oncology APM (RO Model)

In September 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule establishing a Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO Model); in August 2022, the agency issued a final rule that indefinitely delays the implementation of the model. ASTRO expressed serious concerns about the success of the RO Model given its incongruity with recommendations provided by radiation oncology stakeholders throughout the rulemaking process.

  • Official Statement: ASTRO emphasizes support for value-based care as CMS final rule confirms indefinite delay to RO Model (8/25/22)
  • Official Statement: New ASTRO letter to CMS outlines pathways to achieve value-based payment for radiation oncology (6/2/22)
  • Official Statement: ASTRO remains committed to an RO-APM that prioritizes value-based care in light of CMS delay (4/22/22)
  • Official Statement: ASTRO urges Congress to pass legislation delaying RO Model and protecting Medicare beneficiaries' access to care (12/7/21)
  • Official Statement: CMS 2022 final rules: ASTRO deeply concerned and disappointed, emphasizes need for legislative solution (11/2/21)
  • Press Release: Senators and representatives unite to call on CMS to protect patient access to high-quality radiation treatments (10/21/21)
  • Official Statement: ASTRO submits comments to CMS: Stop the draconian cuts that will harm cancer patient care (9/9/21) (view the comment letters, executive summary and issue brief)
  • Press Release: Radiation oncologists urge Congress to reverse proposed CMS cuts and create more equity in access to cancer treatments (7/26/21)
  • Official Statement: ASTRO responds to Medicare cuts and Radiation Oncology Model update (7/20/21)
  • Letter from ASTRO, AMA, MGMA, and radiation oncology stakeholders to CMS and HHS (10/2/20)
  • ASTRO Concept Paper: Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (4/27/17)
  • Op-Ed from The News Journal (Delaware): President Biden: It's the worst time for cuts to cancer care in Delaware, by Drs. Adam Raben, Nicholas Petrelli and Jon Strasser (11/21/21)
  • Article in AJMC Evidence-Based Oncology: Radiation Oncology’s Role in the Next Chapter of Payment Reform, by ASTRO Health Policy Director Anne Hubbard (2/12/21)
  • Video for Imaging Technology News: Understanding the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model, featuring ASTRO Health Policy Director Anne Hubbard (9/20/19)
  • Editorial in the Red Journal: Radiation Oncology APM: Why us? Why now?, by Dr. Brian Kavanagh  (7/11/19)

Press Contacts and Social Media

Direct questions and interview requests to ASTRO’s media relations team by email or at 703-286-1600.

To connect with ASTRO on social media, find a list of our channels here.

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