Radiation Therapy Alliance Commends Congress for Passing Legislation to Ensure Access to Radiation Therapy Care for Nation's Cancer Patients

Legislation is essential step to achieving lasting payment stability for needed cancer care services

Dec 18, 2015, 19:43 ET from Radiation Therapy Alliance

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Radiation Therapy Alliance (RTA) – a non-profit organization representing freestanding radiation therapy centers that is dedicated to working with policymakers to advance logical, predictable payment reform to ensure patient access to quality cancer care – today commended lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives for passing the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act (S. 2425).

The legislation provides payment stability to freestanding radiation therapy centers by freezing Medicare payment rates for the sector in 2017 and 2018 as it transitions to a new, episodic alternative payment model in 2019.  The legislation also requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit to Congress a report on the development of an episodic alternative payment model for payment under the Medicare program within 18 months. 

The RTA thanked Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Richard Burr (R-NC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dan Coats (R-IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representatives Tom Price (R-GA), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), James Clyburn (D-SC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) for their leadership in advancing this vital cancer care legislation.

"The RTA applauds Congress for passing this critical legislation which will ensure patient access to freestanding radiation therapy services across the country," said Christopher M. Rose, MD, FASTRO, RTA Policy Chair. "Consistent with the legislation, we look forward to working with CMS to craft an Alternative Payment Model for radiation oncology that will ensure access while improving the efficiency and quality of care to Medicare patients."

Freestanding radiation therapy centers offer patients access to treatments for prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting closer to home, removing the burden of traveling to distant hospitals or specialty centers.

The RTA, which represents nearly 300 community-based cancer centers from coast to coast, has long supported the creation of an episodic alternative payment system that creates incentives for providing cost-effective and appropriate care.  Since 2010, the RTA has been working with policymakers in pursuit of Medicare payment reform to create proper incentives for quality care and offer the payment stability necessary to improve outcomes and control costs.

The Radiation Therapy Alliance (RTA) is a non-profit organization representing freestanding radiation therapy centers and manufacturers. Learn more at radiationtherapyalliance.com.

SOURCE Radiation Therapy Alliance



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