ASTRO Releases Statement on CMS Decision to Delay RO-APM

By News Release


The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) issued the following statement from ASTRO Board of Directors Chair Laura A. Dawson, MD, FASTRO, in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) decision to delay the start of the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO-APM):

"The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services today delayed the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model start date from January 1, 2023, to a date to be determined through future rulemaking.  ASTRO remains hopeful that during this process, CMS also makes the adjustments recommended by Congress and the broad coalition of stakeholders within the radiation oncology community as we remain concerned that the model in its current form is too punitive for clinics. We remain committed to value-based care in radiation oncology. We believe that the modifications proposed by ASTRO and the radiation oncology community will ensure successful participation among physicians and facilities and produce significant savings for the Medicare program.  We continue to believe that episodic payments for radiation therapy services have great potential to improve quality and equity while reducing cancer care costs, and we will continue to advocate for proposals that achieve these goals.”

Previously, ASTRO had applauded prior efforts to implement a one-year delay to the RO Model and mitigating serious Medicare payment cuts. The association has also called for Congress to pass legislation that freezes most radiation therapy payments under the fee schedule for five years at 2021 levels, reduces the RO Model discount factors to 3%, and restores the 5% APM incentive payment to eligible freestanding centers.