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8/26/15 – ACRO 2016 to be held in Orlando, Florida, in March

ACRO 2016 will be held at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Orlando, Florida, March 17-19, 2016. The hotel is on the Disney World campus with all its attractions, and is only a short walk to Downtown Disney for shops, restaurants and after-hours entertainment.

Dr. Julia White, of The Ohio State University, and Dr. Lawrence Kleinberg, of Johns Hopkins University, have been appointed Scientific Program Committee Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, and Dr. Eduardo Fernandez, ACRO's Vice President, will be the General Chair for the 2016 Annual Meeting. The theme of this meeting is "Exploring the Standards of Care in Radiation Practices." A Call for Abstracts will be released in early September, with an early November deadline.

More information about ACRO 2016 will be distributed as it becomes available.

8/20/15 – ACRO Resident Seed Grant Winners

The American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) Resident Committee is pleased to announce the winners of the Seed Grants for the Annual Meeting in 2016. The winners this year are Anthony Wong and Natalie Lockney. We had a total of 26 applications this year, and we would like to thank all of our applicants for applying. ACRO will provide two $1,000 grants for these two radiation oncology residents. Of that $1,000, $500 will be used to fund the research project, and $500 will be used for travel to the ACRO 2016 Annual Meeting.

Awardees must provide a 1 page interim report of their project by September 15, 2015 and be ready to submit an abstract to the Annual Meeting by November 1, 2015.

If you were not awarded the Seed Grant this year, the ACRO Resident Committee urges you to apply again next year.

8/19/15 – ACRO membership value — almost $2,000/year Membership Committee determines

At the meeting of the ACRO Membership Committee in May during the 2015 Annual Meeting, an exercise to estimate the return on investment (ROI) of ACRO membership was the main agenda item. The committee, with staff facilitation, identified the various "benefits" of ACRO membership (tangible and intangible), and when the list was complete the committee assigned a dollar value to each "benefit" based on a consensus decision of the group. The committee was surprised to realize that they had, collectively, estimated that the benefits of ACRO membership amounted to $1,950 on an annual basis. Topping the list of benefits by value were the lobbying and government relations activities carried out by ACRO and the 112-page Annual Coding & Reimbursement Guide. The guide is prepared annually by the ACRO Government Relations & Economics Committee with the assistance of Revenue Cycle Inc. It is available in the members-only section of the ACRO website. As Regular Membership in ACRO is currently only $395 a year, clearly ACRO members are receiving an incredible ROI on this annual business expense. If you are not an ACRO member, you are invited to join the College and begin receiving this great ROI.

8/19/15 – ACRO Alert: Proposed CMS Cuts to Radiation Practices Must be Stopped

We need your help NOW to engage with your Members of Congress to stop deep Medicare cuts to radiation therapy.

In its 2016 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Proposed Rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed yet another round of cuts to our specialty, resulting in a 3% cut to radiation oncology and a 6% cut to freestanding radiation therapy centers. These cuts disproportionately impact African Americans and women, due to the fact that payments for a course of care for prostate and breast cancer will be reduced by 25% and 19%, respectively. Moreover, this same care will be reimbursed 36% less and 32% less, respectively, in the freestanding setting than care delivered in the hospital setting.

ACRO and others in the cancer community are working aggressively to oppose these proposed cuts. Fortunately, a bipartisan Senate sign-on letter and a separate bipartisan House sign-on letter to CMS opposing these cuts are being circulated on Capitol Hill.

We ask all of you to please contact your Members of Congress today to express your opposition to the 2016 PFS Proposed Rule and ask your elected officials to add their names to these respective letters. ACRO is working in collaboration with the Radiation Therapy Alliance (RTA) to make it easier than ever to reach out to your elected officials with a phone call and a letter on these issues by CLICKING HERE.

Your action as a constituent is critical to a positive result in the 2016 PFS Final Rule.

Thank you!

James Welsh, MD, FACRO
President

8/17/15 – ACRO Alert: Call for Applications: ACRO Accreditation Chart Reviewers

ACRO Accreditation has openings for Medical Chart Reviewers. Currently, there is an immediate need for gynecological and neurological disease site specialists, but applications from specialists in all eight disease sites are welcome.

ACRO Accreditation's chart reviews are headed by the Medical Director and 8 Disease Site Team Leaders. Currently, the 8 disease sites are: Breast, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, Gynecological, Head & Neck, Lung, Lymphoma & Sarcoma, and Neurological cancers. Full details of the program can be found in the ACRO Accreditation Manual (July 2015) here.

Experience and Skills Required:

  • ABR Certification
  • Actively practicing radiation oncology
  • A current member of ACRO
  • More than 5 years of practice experience
  • Maintaining annual board certification

Compensation:

The position offers a modest payment of $75 per chart, which is calculated and sent at the end of each month as a gesture of appreciation for undertaking this important position as a service to ACRO, its members, and the public.

Application/Nomination Process:

To apply or nominate a colleague for this position, please send a Letter of Interest along with a full CV to Rene Atkinson, the Disease Site Review Administrator at ratkinson@paimgmt.com. The Medical Director and relevant Disease Site Team Leader will review the prospective chart reviewer's qualifications and conduct a test review to verify competency and understanding of the chart review process.

8/12/15 – The ACRO Accreditation Manual has been updated

ACRO has offered a program that peer-reviews radiation oncology practices throughout the United States since 1995, to ensure quality of care for patients and for practices to assure current and potential patients that they offer the highest standard of care in their market.

In order to maintain ACRO Accreditation's position as the most cost-effective, time-efficient and thorough accreditation process, ACRO reviews and edits its guiding document, the ACRO Accreditation Manual, once a year based on changes in the environment, recommendations from ACRO leadership, and feedback from the practices that choose ACRO Accreditation.

The new ACRO Accreditation Manual has been available on the website since July 1, and is the framework for our new set of standards by which we review practices during the accreditation process.

8/12/15 – August Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
7/15/15 – ACRO Accreditation now just $8,000 per principal practice!

In order to maintain ACRO Accreditation's position as the most cost-effective, time-efficient and thorough accreditation process, ACRO reviews and edits its guiding document, the ACRO Accreditation Manual, once a year based on changes in the environment, recommendations from ACRO leadership and feedback from the practices that choose ACRO Accreditation.

The new ACRO Accreditation Manual is now available on the website, and is the framework for our new set of standards by which we review practices during the accreditation process. Included in the changes are lowered fees for each principal practice, which is now at the low-cost of $8,000 for each principal practice and $3,000 for each additional practice that applies for the three-year accreditation.

Additionally, ACRO Accreditation is the only accrediting body for radiation oncology practices that is ISO 9001 certified to ensure quality improvement and assistance. ACRO also recently went through an external audit on HIPAA regulations to not only ensure compliance, but find any potential areas where we could improve our security procedures.

7/13/15 – July Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
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