ASTRO sees opportunity in CMS delay of RO Model

2019 09 16 03 57 7061 Astro 2019 400

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has submitted comments to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the agency's move to indefinitely postpone the start of an alternative payment model for radiation oncology (the RO Model).

ASTRO's recommendations to the CMS outline actionable steps for a value-based payment model that would stabilize Medicare reimbursement, prioritize health equity, reduce unnecessary administrative burden, and improve outcomes for people with cancer.

"The recent decision by CMS to indefinitely delay the RO Model creates a renewed opportunity for the agency to work with radiation oncology stakeholders and establish a radiation oncology payment reform initiative," said Dr. Laura Dawson, chair of ASTRO's board of directors, in a news release.

The CMS introduced the RO Model in September 2020, but recently delayed its implementation indefinitely. Since then, ASTRO and other advocates for radiation oncology have been arguing that it would have been "punitive" for treatment centers.

The CMS announced it was delaying the start of its RO Model in an April 6 proposed rule.

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