TAKE ACTION: Urge Congress to Save Specialty Care!
Right now, the federal government is preparing to impose deep Medicare cuts on January 1st. Proposed in the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) Rule, these cuts would place overwhelming financial pressure on radiation oncologists at a time when they’re already struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, this proposal will cut many key radiation oncology services by more than 10%. This is wrong and must be stopped! A recent poll found two-thirds (66%) of senior voters are more likely to vote for candidates who work to prevent the proposed Medicare cuts from being implemented.
You can help by urging Congress to cosponsor and pass H.R. 8505, which was introduced by Rep. Rush (D-IL) and Rep. Burgess (R-TX) to stop these cuts, help our frontline healthcare workers, and protect our country’s most vulnerable patients.
Please click the Take Action Now button to Save Specialty Care! It only takes 60 seconds to make a difference. Thank you!TAKE ACTION NOW
ACRO Webinar on Radiation Oncology Specialty Care Models #2
ACRO hosted another successful webinar on Oct 22, building upon the Wednesday CMMI announcement, via Twitter, regarding the delay in the Radiation Therapy APM until July 1, 2021 in response to the outreach of ACRO and other radiation oncology stakeholders. The American College of Radiation Oncology looks forward to working with CMMI in the months ahead to perfect the model for the benefit of our patients.
You can view the webinar recording and slide deck by logging into your member account now.
Click here to view a document provided by CMMI containing information about Model IDs, ROAP, Secure Data Portal, webinars etc. We also want to let you know that a revised set of FAQs will be available next week on the RO Model website. Details about the model can be found here.
CMS Announces Radiation Oncology Model Final Rule
On September 18, 2020, the final rule for the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model was announced. The RO Model aims to improve the quality of care for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) and move toward a simplified and predictable payment system. The RO Model tests whether bundled, prospective, site neutral, modality agnostic, episode-based payments to physician group practices (PGPs), hospital outpatient departments (HOPD), and freestanding radiation therapy centers for radiotherapy (RT) episodes of care reduces Medicare expenditures while preserving or enhancing the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The RO Model has a five-year Model performance period that begins on January 1, 2021 and runs through December 31, 2025.
For additional information on the final rule and the model, please visit the Radiation Oncology website at: https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/radiation-oncology-model
For questions regarding the RO Model, please reach out to the RO Model Helpdesk by phone: 1-844-711-2664, option 5; or email: RadiationTherapy@cms.hhs.gov.
Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
The ACRO Board and staff want to thank you – our members – as you take care of patients during this public health emergency. We know that these are challenging times for many of our cancer patients as well as for you. We’ve assembled a few links to information we find useful for our practices:CDC Info on COVID-19 Evaluating and Testing Persons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Personal Protective Equipment Shortages:
You may already be experiencing PPE shortages. Some areas have burned through PPE at unsustainable rates. The CDC has a burn rate calculator and other advice on how to best utilize available resources. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.htmlCDC Optimization Strategies for PPE
Coding and Billing:
Given the importance of keeping lower risk cancer patients out of your clinic (and other risk hotbeds), routine follow up cancer care may best be undertaken as telehealth visits. Regulations have been lifted during the pandemic supporting billing for both telephone and video-based office visits to replace the office-based services in your normal patterns of surveillance. Billing and coding information is changing rapidly, but here are some resources:
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Right has temporarily relaxed HIPAA rules for physicians and other health care providers using telehealth in response to COVID-19. Learn more about the policy
AMA COVID19 coding and guidance: https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/cpt/covid-19-coding-and-guidance
America’s Health Insurance Plans: List of individual insurance carriers’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak (includes some telehealth guidance) https://www.ahip.org/health-insurance-providers-respond-to-coronavirus-covid-19/
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is implementing policy exceptions and extensions for physicians, hospitals, and facilities participating in quality reporting programs, including MIPS and ACOs. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-announces-relief-clinicians-providers-hospitals-and-facilities-participating-quality-reporting
Medicare: Novel coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage and related policies from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (includes telehealth guidance) https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus
How is your radiation oncology practice changing with COVID-19? From Italian experience a few weeks ahead of the USA we have some advice: https://www.redjournal.org/article/S0360-3016(20)30930-5/pdf
ACRO Membership Renewals
ACRO membership renewals are now active. To renew your membership, simply log into the members only section of ACRO’s website and click “renew membership” under the manage account options. For personal assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IS ACRO
At its October 5, 2019 meeting, the Board of Chancellors approved this new mission statement:
ACRO’s mission is to support Radiation Oncology professionals by providing opportunities for career development and practice improvement to enhance patient care.
The American College of Radiation Oncology is the essential, professional society for success in the day-to-day practice of radiation oncology. Since 1990, ACRO has focused its attention on both the clinical and economic aspects of practicing radiation oncology. As a professional medical society of doctors representing a relatively small subspecialty, ACRO has led the effort to ensure appropriate reimbursement for clinical care and has provided services to help its members become better clinicians.
ACRO strives to ensure the highest quality care for radiation therapy patients and promote success in the practice of radiation oncology through education, responsible socioeconomic advocacy, and integration of science and technology into clinical practice.
ACRO serves as THE society for radiation oncologists in the United States. Whether it is fostering the next generation of radiation oncologists, developing the talents of current physicians, or ensuring your clinic practices the highest quality of care, we are here to help.
Welcome to the American College of Radiation Oncology: Meet us. Join Us. Grow with Us.