On Oct. 21, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma tweeted that in response to feedback from the radiation oncology community, CMS intends to delay the implementation date of the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model until July 1, 2021. Verma stated that CMS will do so through future rulemaking.
In July 2020, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) sent a letter to CMS urging the agency to allow at least six months between publication of the final rule and its implementation date due to COVID-19. Following the release of the RO Model Final Rule on Sept. 18, 2020, the ACR sent a letter to the Administrator urging CMS to delay the RO Model start date from Jan. 1, 2021 to at least July 1, 2021, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on RO providers. The ACR also signed on to a stakeholder letter led by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) that was sent to CMS on Oct. 2. In the letter, the ACR, ASTRO, the American Medical Association and other stakeholders urged CMS to reverse course and delay implementation of the model and to reduce the discount factors to 3%.
ACR staff will continue to follow the release of upcoming rulemaking reflecting this delay in start date of the model.