ACRO 2021 Update
Today is the day! We will start the meeting this morning at 10 AM ET. If you are having trouble finding your login credentials, please look for an email from email@example.com with the subject line “Welcome to Virtual ACRO 2021”. It could be in your junk mail.
Alternatively, you can also click here to enter the platform and request your access key.
We look forward to seeing you then!
Jacksonville, Florida GenesisCare Medical Director Installed as President of ACRO
Dr. Joanne Dragun, Medical Director of GenesisCare in Jacksonville, Florida, will be installed as president of the American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) at the college’s annual meeting Wednesday, February 24 – Saturday, February 27, 2021. ACRO represents over 1,300 physicians, including residents, who are in the field of radiation oncology throughout the United States. Dr. Dragun is the Medical Director of Radiation Oncology at GenesisCare in Jacksonville, Florida. GenesisCare is one of the leading providers of radiation oncology care in the United States.
Dr. Dragun has been a ACRO member for 27 years, serving on the Board of Chancellors as co-chair of ACRO’s Scientific Program Committee and the Membership Committee. She was Vice President of ACRO from 2018-2020. She was awarded Fellowship in the College in 2002.
During Dr. Dragun’s tenure on the board, she sought to develop programs to enrich the next generation of physicians. Such programs included developing a successful mentoring program that paired experienced ACRO members and fellows with those just beginning their careers. In addition, she cofounded the women’s group with Dr. Sucha Asbell and founded a diversity and inclusion group, aiming to boost camaraderie and address concerns related to the specialty throughout the U.S.
“The future of the organization is moving into exciting times for our young physicians as cancer treatments evolve and members lead in research, new technology and integration of oncology services,” stated Dr. Dragun.
Dr. Dragun received her medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. She was chief resident of the radiation oncology program at Hahnemann University Hospital under the direction of Dr. Luther W. Brady, founding president of ACRO. She is board certified as a radiation oncologist.
Before becoming medical director of radiation oncology at GenesisCare, Dr. Dragun served as president and CEO of Cancer Care Specialists Medical and Radiation Oncology Group in Pennsylvania and was the Chief of Staff and an Associate Clinic Professor of Radiation Oncology at University Pittsburgh Northwest.
As president, Dr. Dragun will continue to drive forward the founders’ goals while continuing to reach, innovate, and explore every opportunity the college can provide to enhance its members’ professional careers.
“I hope to continue the work of our former presidents and create a true partnership with physicians leading the way. I also hope to explore opportunities for growth and development resources, research opportunities, mentorship, career enhancements that are accessible wherever members practice,” continued Dr. Dragun.
ACRO Elects new officers and chancellors; installs new president
ACRO’s first virtual annual meeting is just around the corner, February 24-27. At this year’s event, ACRO will announce its newly elected officers voted on by the ACRO membership during the month of January.
ACRO Executive Committee
Joining the Executive Committee as Vice President will be Dwight Heron MD, MBA, FACRO, FACR.
Dr. Heron is the System Medical Director of Oncology Services at Bon Secour Mercy Health in Youngston, Ohio and Co-found of REDJuvenate LLC, a start-Up leveraging technologies that improved the quality of life in H&N and other cancer patients with the goal of empowering recovery through innovative approaches .
Said Dr. Sheila Rege, president of ACRO, “Dr. Heron embodies the true diversity of ACRO having been a resident member of the college to having recently been elected to VP. As an accomplished clinician scientist who has studied health disparities, he has provided leadership to academic & community practices alike both in the US and internationally. He attributes many of his leadership skills to the experiences afforded him in ACRO.”
Dr. Heron joins the ACRO Executive Committee at the conclusion of the ACRO Annual Meeting on Saturday, Feb. 27. Other ACRO Executive Committee members include, Dr. Sheila Rege, who moves into the role of Chair, Dr. Joanne Dragun, incoming president and Dr. William Noyes, secretary-treasurer.
ACRO Board of Chancellors
Three new board members were also elected to the ACRO Board of Chancellors. They include:
- Jason Efstathiou, MD, D.PHIL., FACRO, FASTRO – Dr. Efstathiou is Professor of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Director of the Genitourinary (GU) Division in the Department of Radiation Oncology and Clinical Co-Director of The Claire and John Bertucci Center for GU Cancers at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He holds multiple leadership positions within professional societies (ASTRO, ASCO, ABR, ACRO), and the NCI where he serves as Co-Chair of the Bladder Cancer Task Force. Within ACRO, he has served as Chair/co-Chair of the Scientific Program Committee since 2017. In addition, he has a strong proven track record in teaching and mentorship of many junior faculty, fellows/residents, and other trainees. Dr. Efstathiou holds a B.S. from Yale University, M.D. from HMS, D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, and completed his residency training in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program.
- Brian Lally, MD – Dr. Lally currently works at Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology at Doylestown. He serves as a Clinical Associate at University of Pennsylvania, as well as Adjunct Associate Professor University of Miami, Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Epidemiology & Population Health Sciences. Since 2017 Dr. Lally has served on the ACRO Annual Meeting, Scientific Planning Committee, currently serving as co-chair. He also currently serves as a committee member on ASTRO Lung Cancer Resource Panel; a role he has served since 2010. Dr. Lally received his BSE and MSE in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and completed his residency in radiation oncology at Yale University School of Medicine.
- Parul N. Barry, MD – Dr. Barry is a clinical assistant professor of radiation oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Dr. Barry received her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College and completed her medical school and residency training at the University of Louisville. Dr. Barry has served in serval leadership positions at the national level, including chairing both the Resident and New Practitioner Committees for ACRO. She currently services as the Scientific Program Committee co-chair for ACRO. Additionally, she is active within NRG Oncology and ASTRO. She is a senior associate editor for the journal Rare Tumors and associate Editor for the MedNet.
Mona Arbab, chair of the Residents Committee, and Jessica Schuster, chair of the New Practitioners Committee will also serve on the Board of Chancellors.
New ACRO President
Dr. Joanne Dragun will be installed as the new president of ACRO at the conclusion of the college’s annual meeting, Feb. 24-27, 2021. Dr. Dragun is the medical director of radiation oncology at GenesisCare in Jacksonville, Florida.
Dr. Dragun received her medical degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. She was chief resident of the radiation oncology program at Hahnemann University Hospital under the direction of Dr. Luther W. Brady, founding president of ACRO. She is board certified in radiation oncology.
Dr. Dragun has been a member of ACRO for 27 years, serving on the Board of Chancellors for six years. Over the past several years Dr. Dragun has served as co-chair of ACRO’s Scientific Program Committee and on the Membership Committee. She was Vice President of ACRO from 2018-2020. She has been a Fellow in the college since 2000.
Prior to becoming medical director of radiation oncology at GensisCare, Dr. Dragun served as president and CEO of Cancer Care Specialists Medical and Radiation Oncology Group in Pennsylvania and associate clinic professor of radiation oncology at University of Pittsburgh.
Outside of ACRO, Dr. Dragun is a member of the American College of Radiology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the Florida American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the Duval County Medical Society.
She also serves on the board of directors of both the American Cancer Society and the Venango County Community Foundation.
Please Join Us for the ACRO 2021 Annual Meeting!
As the spaces in which we connect and learn shift, ACRO is thrilled to announce our 2021 Radiation Oncology Summit – a virtual, multi-day, national convening.
The Radiation Oncology Summit: ACRO 2021 is the meeting for your profession, where you can learn the latest research in the field while networking with its brightest minds. Some of this year’s highlights include:
- 18 CMEs/14 SAMs included in registration fee;
- Plenary sessions devoted to disease sites with live Q&A;
- Other noted sessions: Luther Brady Lecture on racial justice and diversity & inclusion, Proton Therapy, E-Contouring, and Business & Economics; and
- Resident and New Practitioner programming.
This year you can save money and stay safe by joining us from the comfort of your own home or office! And be sure to renew your membership prior to registering to get the lowest registration fee. We hope to see you there…virtually!
American Medical Association Guide to Surprise Billing Law
Attached is an initial guide to the major provisions in the “No Surprises Act,” the surprise billing legislation that was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act COVID-19 relief bill signed into law on December 27, 2020. The No Surprises Act allows for price transparency, provider directories, and patient financial protections that impact health plans, physicians, facilities, and other non-MD/DO licensed health care professionals. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2022. The intent of the law is not to preempt state surprise billing laws. However, there is some ambiguity in the statutory language that will require further clarification before and during the rulemaking process, including when the surprise billing protections apply to patients in self-funded ERISA plans. The AMA will work with Federation members and other stakeholders to seek clarification to address these ambiguities and will revise this guide accordingly as new information becomes available.
Radiation Oncology Policy Update, February 2021
ACRO Members: The February issue of the Radiation Oncology Policy Update is now available online.
Some of the topics in this issue include:
- MEDPAC Holds Meetings On Assessing Payment Adequacy and Updating Payments
- New Data Shows Geographic Variation in the Consolidation of Physicians into Health Systems
- Biden Administration Releases Memo on Regulatory Freeze for Heads of Executive Departments
- Norris Cochran to Serve as Acting HHS Head While Becerra Awaits Hearing
Just log in to your member account from the Advocacy tab to view the full Update.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy: Comparative Billing Report in January
In late January, CMS will issue a Comparative Billing Report on Part B claims for intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Use the data-driven tables to compare your billing and payment patterns with peers in your state and across the nation.
The public can’t view CBRs. Look for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to access your report. Update your email address in the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System to ensure delivery.
Your ACRO Government Relations and Economic Committee (GREC) has been hard at work on your behalf. We are pleased to share that Congress passed H.R.133, the legislative vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Key wins for ACRO include:
- A six-month delay in the radiation oncology APM to January 1, 2022.
- A 2/3 mitigation of the cut to the Physician Fee Schedule conversion factor in 2021 as a result of the 3.75% increase in the Physician Fee Schedule and a three-year delay in the new G2211 add-on code (more information is provided below).
ACRO’s mission is to support Radiation Oncology professionals by providing opportunities for career development and practice improvement to enhance patient care. In 2020, ACRO launched a new strategic plan that focused on:
- Representing our specialty in Washington D.C.
- Education & networking tailored to our specialty.
- Growing ACRO membership.
- Building a robust accreditation program.
Radiation Oncology Model Updates
- On December 3, 2020, CMMI released the most recent bulletin to Radiation Oncology (RO) Model Participants. For additional information, click here.
- The next call-in has been postponed until January 13, 2021 and the call-in information for the webinar can be found here.
- An updated version of the RO-APM FAQs is available here.
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:
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.
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.
America’s Health Insurance Plans: List of individual insurance carriers’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak (includes some telehealth guidance)
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.
How is your radiation oncology practice changing with COVID-19? From Italian experience a few weeks ahead of the USA we have some advice:
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 email@example.com.