March 25, 2020

ACR Asks for Delayed Radiation Oncology Model Implementation

In response to the COVID-19 National Emergency, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) and its Radiation Oncology Commission and Commission on Economics sent a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Friday, March 20, requesting a delay in implementation of the proposed Radiation Oncology (RO) Model.

The RO Model is listed as under review at the Office of Management and Budget as part of a rule titled, “Specialty Care Models to Improve Quality of Care and Reduce Expenditures.”

Radiation oncology practices anticipated a start date for the payment model in the next few months, but given developments with COVID-19 pandemic, the ACR considers the model’s expected start date with its complete overhaul of RO payment structure to be inappropriate at this time.

The ACR does not want RO Model implementation to distract from the national response COVID-19 and the health care community’s current clinical and administrative focus on patient access, patient safety and staff safety. While the College looks forward to the publication of the RO Model final rule, the ACR also urges CMS to delay the start date at least six months.

Please direct your questions and comment to the ACR’s Samantha Porter.