4/3/13 – April Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
3/2/13 – March Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
2/4/13 – February Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
1/23/13 – ACRO Resident Committee January Webinar:> All current residents in radiation oncology are invited to an interactive webinar entitled "Healthcare Economics and Radiation Oncology: An Insider's Perspective." Shelia Rege MD, Chair, ACRO Economics Committee, will be discussing how governmental reforms and economic pressures will affect radiation oncology. If you have questions about how healthcare reform will affect your career, please join us to learn more.
The free webinar will be held Wednesday January 30th at 5pm EST. Click here for registration information.
1/21/13 – Join the Radiating Hope 5K in San Antonio at ACRO13: Register today Cancer kills more people in Africa than AIDS/HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis combined! Radiating Hope is a non-profit whose mission is to provide and update Radiation Equipment in developing countries. Radiating Hope will host a 5K at ACRO, to raise money for the source for Senegal's HDR machine. Last year we were able to raise $10,000 at our ACRO 5k, and we are hoping to double that this year! Please register today, whether you plan on being a runner, walker or just sleeping. . . Click here to register for this event at ACRO 2013!
1/16/13 – ACRO Global Radiation Oncology Workforce travel grant takes a team of radiation doctors to Africa: This last December, 2012 Radiating Hope led a team of eight radiation oncologists (including Dr Mundt, Dr. Einck,and others), 1 gynecologist, 3 physicists, a nurse and various other volunteers to the shores of West Africa with a common goal: to update the radiation center in Senegal. Click here to read more.
1/4/13 – January Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
12/4/12 – December Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
11/19/12 – Upcoming ACRO Webinar: November 27, 2012 at 5PM Eastern, ACRO invites you to participate in 2013 Final Rule Summary - Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) and Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) webinar. It is vital to your practice that you are aware of the final rules. Each year there are many changes that are specific to radiation oncology and when January 1st arrives your facility needs to be ready. Revenue Cycle Inc will help you understand and interpret the final rules as it applies to the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. This webinar will cover all of the final rules that apply to radiation oncology and will assist you in the New Year.
To sign up for this webinar, please Login to the members only section of acro.org, and click on the registration link under upcoming webinars.
11/14/12 – ACRO Call For Fellows Application: Are you interested in joining the prestigious group of radiation oncologists known as Fellows of the American College of Radiation Oncology? If you wish to apply for Fellowship, the College will require two (2) letters of recommendation, one (1) from a current ACRO member, and one (1) from another physician in your local community. Please send these letters, completed application form, Copy of your Board Certification Certificate and your current CV to the ACRO office by December 19, 2012. Your application and CV can be mailed, faxed to 301-656-0989 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
11/13/12 – ACRO Alert: Deadline to submit abstract to ACRO 2013 is Sunday, November 18, 11:59pm- Accepted abstracts will be published in The Proceedings of ACRO 2013, which will appear online on this website after the meeting.
Oral Presentation Sessions: There will be two oral presentation sessions drawn from submitted abstracts. The first will be composed of the five highest rated abstracts submitted, regardless of author. The second will consist of five outstanding abstracts submitted by residents and fellows. Accepted abstracts not selected for oral presentation will be offered a poster presentation.
Poster Walk: New this year, the top eight abstracts NOT selected for oral presentation submitted by residents or fellows, will be selected for a formal poster walk/discussion session on Saturday, February 16, 2013.
11/12/12 – ACRO Alert: What Does the Increase in Hospital-Physician Practice Mean for Radiation Oncology? Hospital acquisition of physician practices is at an all time high: Nearly 40% of primary care physicians working in hospitals as employees. 25% of specialists are employed by hospitals. Click here to read more.
11/8/12 – November Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
11/5/12 – ACRO Alert: 2013 Final Rule released, reduced cuts for Radiation Oncology: The 2013 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule has been released, and based upon an initial review, radiation oncology and radiation therapy centers have received an overall cut of 7% and 9%, respectively (as compared to a 15% cut to radiation oncology and a 19% cut to radiation therapy centers in the Proposed Rule). Click here to read more:
10/24/12 – Virtual Prostate Summit: The Virtual Prostate Summit Partners with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to bring together the leading experts in prostate cancer - live & online - to discuss the latest research and new developments. Click here for more details.
10/18/12 – ACRO Bulletin: The fall ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
10/3/12 – October Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
9/6/12 – September Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
9/4/12 – ACRO Alert: Call to Action: Help Stop Devastating Cuts to Reimbursement Rates! As you know, on July 6, 2012, CMS released its Proposed Rule for the CY 2013 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), which includes a devastating 15 percent cut to radiation oncology and 19 percent cut to radiation therapy centers set to begin on January 1, 2013.
ACRO is working aggressively to oppose these proposed cuts, both individually and in concert with our allies in the broader cancer care community. As you know, a highly effective way for policymakers to learn more about the effects of a proposed policy is by hearing from physicians and staff on the frontlines of care. We are writing to ask you to contact your Members of Congress to express your opposition to the CY 2013 PFS proposed rule through phone calls, email communication, or meeting requests. In addition, letters to the editor and opinion editorials in local newspapers would help spread the word. It is important to ensure that radiation oncologists nationwide are able to continue providing lifesaving cancer care to patients, and we must make our voices heard on this critical issue.
How can you help?
1. Please let us know if you would be interested in and willing to sign a letter to the editor or opinion-editorial for submission to a local newspaper. Please provide us with:
a. Full name/title
b. Number of patients you care for each year
c. How many years you have been in practice
d. Contact information
We will help draft/customize the letter, as we know how busy you are. Please reach out to Leigh Ann Bradley (email@example.com or 817-229-6418).
2. Please also visit www.radiationtherapyalliance.com and encourage your staff to do so as well. Here you can contact your Member of Congress. The website provides you with phone numbers for your Member of Congress, talking points for your phone calls, and a letter-writing portal with easy edit capabilities.
Please contact your Member of Congress Before September 13, 2012 before the letter deadline closes.
8/6/12 – August Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
7/31/12 – ACRO 2013 Call For Abstracts: Abstracts for the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American College of Radiation Oncology are now being accepted online. Accepted abstracts will be published in The Proceedings of ACRO 2013, which will appear online here on this website. Oral Presentation Sessions: There will be two oral presentation sessions drawn from submitted abstracts. The first will be composed of the 5 highest rated abstracts submitted, regardless of author. The second will consist of 5 outstanding abstracts submitted by resident and fellows. Accepted abstracts not selected for oral presentation will be offered a poster presentation. Poster Walk: New this year, the top 8 abstracts NOT selected for oral presentation submitted by residents or fellows will be selected for a formal poster walk/discussion session on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Click here for access to the online submission system.
Senegal Clinic.7/24/12 – ACRO Alert: ACRO/RadiatingHope Mission to Senegal: This December ACRO's President-Elect, Dr. AJ Mundt, along with five residents, several radiation oncologists and a physicist will travel to the East African country of Senegal to participate in a mission!
Senegal Clinic ACRO has funded three scholarships to enable this important radiation oncology mission, called the Global Radiation Oncology Workforce (GROW). Volunteers and scholarship recipients will be working with the non-profit organization RadiatingHope.org, whose mission is to advance cancer care in developing countries Click here for more information
7/12/12 – Preliminary Impact Analysis of CY 2013 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule Analysis: On July 6, 2012, CMS released the Proposed Rule for the CY 2013 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). Public comment will be accepted until September 4, 2012 and the final rule will be released by November 1, 2012. Click here for more information, and to register for a special members only webinar on the changes.
7/5/12 – July Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
6/5/12 – June Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
5/9/12 – 2012 Billing and Coding Guide: The 2012 Billing and Coding guide is available in the members only section. Please login to view this important information.
5/3/12 – May Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
4/26/12 – View 2012 ACRO Annual Meeting: View recent presentations from Drs. Khan and Wallner in the Resident Resrouces section.
4/3/12 – April Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
3/6/12 – March Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
2/10/12 – ACRO Bulletin: The winter ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
2/8/12 – February Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
1/18/12 – ACRO 2012: Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) to Speak at a Special 1-Hour Political Plenary Session. Senator Ben Cardin, a long-time advocate of health care professionals, patients and quality of care initiatives will be the keynote speaker at the ACRO Politics Hour on Thurs., Feb. 23. Senator Cardin will Join Andrew Woods, ACRO's Legislative Counsel, to provide practicing physicians with in-depth commentary on the state of politics in Washington, DC and a unique opportunity to communicate with a senior US lawmaker.
Don't miss out on this ACRO-only opportunity! Click above to register today.
1/3/12 – January Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
12/20/11 – ACRO Residents Webinar Healthcare Reform and Radiation Oncology: An Insider's Perspective All current residents, fellows, and attending radiation oncologist are invited to attend this free webinar, which will take place on Wednesday, January 11th at 5:00pm EST. Click here to register.
12/6/11 – ACRO 2012 Final Rule Posted: The Annual Final Rule Billing and Coding Webinar has been posted in the members only section. Click here to login today.
12/8/11 – ACRO Bulletin: The fall ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
12/3/11 – December Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
11/29/11 – ACRO Alert: Comprehensive CY 2012 Physician Fee Schedule Reviews Revenue Cycle, Inc., the official Billing/Coding Consultant for the American College of Radiation Oncology, has released two comprehensive summaries of the 2012 Final Rule. To review these summaries in detail, please click here.
11/7/11 – ACRO Alert: Preliminary Impact Analysis of CY 2012 Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule: On November 1, 2011 CMS released the Final Rule for the CY 2012 Physician Fee Schedule. (PFS). Important changes occurred between the Proposed and Final Rule that resulted in a net decrease of 2% in radiation oncology payments. These changes relate to AMA RUC recommendations on several important radiation oncology codes, including 77418.
ACRO will, in collaboration with the Radiation Oncology community, comment on the final rules, as they remain "Interim" Final and may be commented on. This is done to maintain appropriate reimbursement rates to allow our members to continue to provide excellent patient care. In the past this comment period has alerted CMS to issues including utilization rates which may have had unintended consequences to the sustainable practice of radiation oncology. Click here for more information, including The third year of the four-year transition to the utilization of new Physician Practice Information Survey (PPIS) data and Rebasing of the Medicare Economic Index (MEI).
11/4/11 – November Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
Economics Resources Available for Download The ACRO Economics Committee has prepared and published the following documents as a membership benefit. To access these documents, click on the links below.
10/6/11 – October Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
9/29/11 – Attending the ASTRO Annual Meeting on Oct. 2-6 in Miami Beach? Visit the American College of Radiation Oncology's outreach booth (No. 908) in the ASTRO Exhibition.
ACRO staff and board members will be manning the booth to answer questions and discuss:
The new online Practice Accreditation Program
Membership, and why it's so important for your business and patients
National insurance guidelines, the upcoming ACRO 2012 Annual Meeting
You will also have the opportunity to acquaint yourself with RadiatingHope, an up-and-coming global charity making radiation oncology treatment more accessible in the developing world.
Don't miss out on this excellent opportunity to network with colleagues, catch up with board members and chat with ACRO staff in a relaxed setting. Nonmembers are welcome to join in as well. See you there! Questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
9/2/11 – September Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
8/30/11 – ACRO Bulletin The summer ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here or the view bulletin archives here.
8/13/11 – August Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
7/12/11 – ACRO Alert: Upcoming ACRO Webinar 2012 Proposed Rules for ACRO Members Friday, July 29 1-2pm EDST Join Ron DiGiaimo as he discusses the Medicare Physicians Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule changes as issued by the federal register for 2012. He will condense the 1500+pages of the federal register document specific to radiation oncology, saving you both time and money. Registration is free for members: Click here to login to the members only section and register.
7/12/11 – ACRO Alert: 2012 Proposed Fee Schedule Resources: Provided by Revenue Cycle Inc. Click on the Blue text to open .pdfs
7/12/11 – July Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
7/8/11 – ACRO Alert: On July 1, 2011, CMS released the Proposed Rule for the CY 2012 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). In the Proposed Rule, CMS indicates that the primary impacts to specialties are due to: (1) the third year of the four-year transition to the utilization of new Physician Practice Information Survey (PPIS) data; and (2) rebasing of the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) Click here to read more.
6/21/11 – ACRO Alert: One-Year Follow-up After the Discontinuation of Consultation Codes; How Have Physicians Adjusted? The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) discontinued consultation codes (99241-99245 and 99251-99255) as of January 2010. This discontinuation resulted in a substantial revenue reduction for most specialist physicians. To partly compensate for the reduction on revenue, CMS did, however, increase relative value units for evaluation and management of office visits (99201 to 99215). Click here to read more.
6/7/11 – June Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
5/24/11 – ACRO Bulletin The spring ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
5/24/11 – ACRO Alert: ACRO 2011 Meeting Rewind Interested in reviewing a host of content related to ACRO's 2011 Annual Meeting in Coronado, CA? Click here for more information including pictures, podcasts, presentations and the Spring 2011 edition of the bulletin.
5/17/11 – ACRO Alert: New York Times Author Walt Bogdanich Speaks on NPR About Medical Radiation Errors. On May 16, Walt Bogdanich, the New York Times reporter who spoke at ACRO's recent annual meeting in San Diego via video feed from New York about medical radiation errors, continued to discuss the subject on the National Public Radio (NPR) show, "Fresh Air," with host Terry Gross. Click here for the full article.
5/6/11 – May Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
4/25/11 – 2011 Billing and Coding Guide: The 2011 Billing and Coding guide is available in the members only section. Please login to view this important information.
4/25/11 – ACRO Annual Meeting Wrap-Up: Members, be sure to login to the members only section and review the postings from the 2011 Annual Meeting. This update includes presentations, podcasts and pictures from the meeting in San Diego.
4/5/11 – April Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
3/4/11 – March Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
2/18/11 – Billing and Coding Update for ACRO Members Please join Ron DiGiaimo as he discusses coding issues, solutions, and updates for 2011. Ron will cover relevant billing issues by disease site, plus common codes utilized in progressive radiation oncology practices, documentation recommendations, and what you need to know regarding the latest efforts to ensure compliance with CMS regulations. There will be ample time allowed at the end for questions and answers.
Title: Billing and Coding Update for ACRO Members
Date: Friday, March 4, 2011
Time: 1-2:30pm Eastern Register today
2/8/11 – February Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
2/3/11 – ACRO Bulletin The winter ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
1/7/11 – January Legislative Update: Get the latest legislative updates from Capitol Hill, click here.
12/30/10 – ACRO Alert: Emergency Update to the CY 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule: Yesterday evening, CMS issued an emergency update to the CY 2011 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) database in the form of this transmittal. Through this transmittal, CMS accepted the arguments of the radiation oncology community, including ACRO, that the work RVUs for 77427 should be 3.37. Click here for more.
12/10/10 – ACRO Alert: Abstract Submission Deadline Extended: The deadline to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentation at the 2011 ACRO Annual Meeting has been extended until 5pm est, Fri., Dec. 17, 2010. Click here to access the Abstract Submission Module.
12/8/10 – ACRO Alert: Summary of the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 Please review the legislative language, summary and CBO score for the one-year SGR fix below. We understand that this legislation is being hot-lined in the Senate for consideration today, Wednesday, December 8, and, if it passes by unanimous consent, would be taken up by the House of Representatives. The legislation provides a zero percent update in physician reimbursement levels for calendar year 2011 and also includes several one-year extensions of other expiring Medicare provisions. The legislation is offset primarily through (1) cuts to the exchange subsidies contained in the health reform bill and (2) the use of Medicare Improvement Fund monies. Physician payment offsets are not included in the legislation. We will keep you posted on the status of the legislation. Click here to review the legislative language.
12/6/10 – ACRO Bulletin The fall ACRO bulletin has been uploaded. View the document here.
12/6/10 – Washington Update Addition See the latest legislative update in our Washington Update section.
11/22/10 – ACRO Alert: SGR Update - November 2010: On Thursday, Nov. 18 the Senate passed by unanimous consent the one-month patch to the SGR for the month of December. The legislation could be considered by the House (which has adjourned for the Thanksgiving break) on November 29 or 30. The legislation extends the existing 2.2% increase in reimbursement levels (passed in June) for December 2010. Click here for more analysis on SGR updates for 2011 including potential cuts to radiation oncology.
11/22/10 – ACRO Members Only Webinar Dec. 3, 1pm EST: Presented by: Ron DiGiaimo, Revenue Cycle Inc. 2011 Final Rules and Physician fee Schedule: The final rules, as they apply to the Medicare Physicians Fee Schedule, are extremely important information for your practice. This Webinar will ensure you that you are aware and understand the final rules as they apply to radiation oncology in your facility. Registration is free for ACRO members. Click here to register today.
11/9/10 – ACRO Alert: ACRO 2011 Registration, Fellowship and Travel Awards: Registration for ACRO's 2011 Annual Meeting is now available, click here to access the meeting page.
FACRO Applications Applications for ACRO Fellowship are now being accepted from all eligible active members (basic eligibility requirements is 10 years of active membership since board certification) . Click here to learn more and download an application.
Wong Abstract Award All ACRO Resident Members who submit an abstract for the 2011 ACRO Annual Meeting are automatically eligible to win a Wong Abstract Award.The Wong Abstract Award was designed to support attendance at ACRO's Annual Meeting by Resident Members who have submitted abstracts of exemplary research for presentation (either poster or oral). There will be a total of three awards given.
11/4/10 – ACRO ALERT: MPFS CY 2011 Final Rule Released: CMS released the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) CY 2011 final rule on November 2, 2010. As we are all aware, the conversion factor used to calculate reimbursement under the MPFS has been in limbo for much of CY 2010 and unfortunately, the uncertainty has not ended. In CY 2010 CMS finalized their intention to reduce the conversion factor by 21.3%, this reduction was delayed multiple times in 2010 and physicians were actually given a 2.2% update beginning June 1, and ending November 30, 2010. In the final rules, CMS announced that effective December 1, 2010 the new conversion factor would be $28.3868 and that beginning January 1, 2011 it would decrease even further to $25.5217. The will mean a greater than 30% cut to physician payment in less than a 2 month period unless Congress addresses the issue soon. Click here for more information on specific codes.
10/27/10 – Visit ACRO inside ASTRO's 2010 Exhibition! Attending the ASTRO Meeting from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in San Diego? Visit ACRO's new and improved membership booth at Space No. 3132 in the ASTRO Exhibition. The new booth will feature comfortable seating, free computer/Internet access for members and membership/meeting information. It will also feature the relaunch of ACRO's upgraded Accreditation Program, a registration discount for ACRO's 2011 Meeting, and special surprises in the afternoons. The ACRO booth will be an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues, catch up with board members, and chat with ACRO staff in a relaxed setting. Nonmembers are welcome to join in as well. See you there!
9/23/10 – ACRO Alert: Medicare Payment Reform Leads AMA's Agenda: Medicare Payment Reform issues dominated the discussion, as frustration about the lack of a permanent replacement for the Sustainable Growth Rate Formula intensified. In a recent AMA survey of 9,000 physicians, 20% of physicians restrict the number of Medicare patients that they see and 33% of primary care physicians restrict the number of Medicare patients that they see. Read more.
8/31/10 – ACRO has recently submitted comments to the CMS regarding the Proposed CY 2011 Physician Fee Schedule: Many thanks to Dr. Paul Wallner and the Economics Committee for their diligent work. Please review ACRO's Official Comments can be reviewed by clicking on the following link. ACRO CY 2011 PFS Proposed Rule Comment Letter
6/3/2010 – ACRO Alert CMS Asks Physicians to Hold Claims Yet Again. The Continuing Extension Act of 2010, enacted on April 15, 2010, provided another temporary patch to maintain physician payment levels until the end of May. While the House and Senate leaders are working to fix the problematic sustainable growth formula, the Senate left town for the week-long Memorial Day Congressional recess without enacting a fix to this years-long problem. The House did pass a 19 month fix before its holiday recess. Read the entire ACRO Alert.
6/1/10 – Read about the proposed decision memo issued by CMS on PET for initial treatment of solid tumors and myeloma in the Billing & Coding section of the Economic/Legislative/Regulatory Affairs section of the website.
5/18/10 – ACRO's Popular Practice Management Guide is being redesigned as an online, members-only benefit. ACRO needs to move our remaining 2008 and 2009 Stock. Quantities are limited so please order your copies as soon as possible. Click here to order now!
4/19/10 – ACRO Alert: Yet Another Temporary Reprieve from the Looming Payment Reduction. Late last week, President Obama signed HR 4851, the Continuing Extension Act of 2010. Once again, Congress has enacted merely a temporary patch to maintain physician payments at the March 31st level until the end of May. The law is retroactive to April 1, 2010. Click here for more.
3/10/10 – ACRO ALERT: Once Again, Fee Schedule Politics. Last week, Congress failed to extend the current Medicare physician payment rates. In a standoff similar to last month's stalemate in which a single Senator, using arcane Senate procedural rules brought a halt to the entire process, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) objected to the bill. He noted that the bill should not be considered emergency spending exempt from budgetary offsets. Congress has adjourned for its spring recess and will not reconsider this issue any time before mid-April. Therefore, because of Congressional inaction, the 21% fee schedule reduction is currently scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2010. Click here for more information.
3/2/10 – ACRO Alert: Congress Pushes SGR deadline to April 1. Late on March 2, the Senate finally passed legislation extending the current Medicare physician payment rates, but only through the end of the month. The House had previously passed similar legislation. As a result, the 21% payment cut that was to occur March 1 has now been postponed until April 1. Discussions are underway to find a longer term solution to the flawed sustainable growth factor calculations.
3/2/10 – ACRO Alert: Congressional Non-Action on SGR - on Thursday, February 25, 2010 the US House of Representatives passed legislation extending the current Medicare physician payment rates for 30 days. The Senate failed to pass the same legislation and adjourned for the weekend. This means that a 21% physician payment cut became effective on Monday, March 1. Click here to learn more.
1/28/10 – ACRO Alert Code 77338 replaces 77334 Multiple Custom Multileaf Device Charges for Medicare IMRT Patients. Effective January 1, 2010, Code 77338 replaces device charge 77334 used for each multileaf pattern for Medicare patients receiving IMRT. This code is used one time per IMRT plan (77301) and replaces multiple charges for multileaf patterns. Private insurers may not yet have followed suit. Unfortunately, the reimbursement for this code is below what would be reimbursed under the prior system. Click here to read the entire ACRO alert.
1/11/10 – ACRO Alert: Payments for Consultations Eliminated as of January 1, Decline in Reimbursement to Result. CMS has eliminated inpatient and outpatient consultation code reimbursement for medical specialists, including radiation oncologists (codes 99241-99245 and 99251-99255). Instead, radiation oncologists can bill a new patient visit for Medicare patients. The reduction in reimbursement for us is substantial. Click here to learn more.
12/23/09 – President Signs into Law H.R. 3326, Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010: Includes a 0% Medicare Physician Update through February 28, 2010 On December 19, the President signed into law H.R. 3326, the "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010," Click here for the press release, which includes a zero percent Medicare physician update through February 28, 2010. This action staves off a 21% pay cut for physicians scheduled for January 1, 2010. Congress will continue to work in the new year on a physician fee schedule fix to extend beyond the new February 28 deadline. In anticipation of the two-month freeze of Medicare payments to physicians, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also instructed its contractors to hold claims for the first 10 business days of January for 2010 dates of service. Click here to learn more.
12/3/09 – In mid-November, CMS announced the results of the 2008 Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI). Read more in the ACRO Economic/Legislative/Regulatory Affairs portal.
12/3/09 – Fellowship Application Deadline December 14: Fellows of the American College of Radiation Oncology are active members who are able to display meritorious service to the College or the field of radiation oncology, actively attend annual meetings (2 in the past 5 years) and express a significant interest in the continued development of the College. Current members with 10 or more years of consecutive active membership are encouraged to apply. Click here for an application. Click here to view fellowship criteria.
12/2/09 – Medicare Eliminates Payment for Consultation Codes: Effective January 1, 2010, Medicare will no longer pay for services billed using consultation CPT® codes, except for telehealth services. This change was made in a budget neutral manner, such that Medicare increased the payments for new patient visits. Click here to learn more.
11/30/09 – ACRO has just posted important information from RCI regarding Medicare ("Description of 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule" and "Description of 2010 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Payment System Final Rule"). View this information along with the latest economic and legislative affairs here.
11/5/09 – 2010 Final Rule for the MPFS:Click here to review an outline of the procedure codes commonly utilized in the radiation oncology setting with the RVUs from the 2010 Final Rule. The payments have been calculated showing the 2010 payment with the reduction in the conversion factor as finalized in the 2010 Final Rule and also with the legislative increase of a 0.5% higher conversion factor than the 2009 conversion factor, i.e., $36.066, in order to show all of the possibilities.
11/2/09 – CMS Releases New Fee Cut Structure: According to an October 30 press release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on January 1, 2010 CMS will institute a 1% cut to radiation oncology payments. The following three years, 2011-2013, will see cuts as well, totaling a 5% decrease from the current rates on January 1, 2014. This is in stark contrast to the original CMS plan of the much larger 19% cut for radiation oncologists. ACRO will review the entire Federal Rule and submit comments as necessary.
9/25/09 – ACRO Needs Your Help to Continue the Fight to Overturn the Flawed Policies in the CY 2010 Proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule. Click here to learn more.
8/26/09 – Only a few days remain if you want to help ACRO address the impact of the 2010 Proposed Medicare Physician's Fee Schedule.
Regulations Would Dramatically Affect Radiation Oncology. The last two ACRO Alerts have addressed aspects of the proposed cuts in the Medicare fee schedule for radiation oncology services. There are a few days remaining if you wish to help in this effort. Read below and feel free to use the pre-written draft letters to make your voice heard. Click here to take action.
8/12/09 – Request for Action! The 2010 proposed medicare physician fee schedule is out and it has dramatic impacts for radiation oncology. See how ACRO can help get your voice heard on this topic in the latest ACRO Alert. Submit comment letters to CMS by August 31.
8/5/09 – New Gating Code Released. The American Medical Association recently released early information on code 0197T, a CPT® category III code, to describe 4-dimensional tracking. Read more in the latest ACRO Alert.
ACRO Government Day. Wednesday, June 10
On Wednesday, June 10, several ACRO representatives flew to Washington D.C. to discuss healthcare reform with the U.S. Congress. These physicians met with several Members of Congress and their staff who sit on the relevant authorizing committees of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives and the Senate. ACRO representatives also met with committee staff for the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. More ...
7/2/09 – Be sure to read all about the great success at the 2009 American College of Radiation Oncology annual conference in the latest ACRO Alert by Paul J. Schilling, MD, FACRO.
12/04/08 – Read the latest postings in our "What's Going on in D.C." section. Updates to PQRI and Recent News/Hot Topics are available here.
11/13/08 – We are very please to inform you that, on your behalf, ACRO has made major progress on the issue of "self referral" at the recent AMA House of Delegates meeting in Orlando, Florida. Read more about this in the latest ACRO Alert.
11/3/08 – The 2008 Practice Management Guide has been published and can still be ordered online. Read more about how to order this guide.
10/24/08 – We need your help! ACRO, two other radiation oncology specialty societies, AMA and more than 70 other organizations are conducting a comprehensive multi-specialty survey of America's physician practices. The results will be used to positively influence national decision makers. Read more about this survey in the latest ACRO Alert from the ACRO Economics Committee.