ACR wants CMS radiation oncology model delayed

The American College of Radiology suggests CMS delay the start of its new radiation oncology (RO) model to allow radiation oncologists adequate time to prepare for participation in the new model, according to a Sept. 16 comment letter.

The RO model is part of a proposed rule— “Specialty Care Models to Improve Quality of Care and Reduce Expenditures”—and is set to enter a five payment year testing period beginning Jan. 1, 2020, and ending Dec. 31, 2024.

CMS is considering pushing back implementation until April 1, 2020, to give both RO participants and CMS more time to get ready.

“The ACR stressed that RO practices need at least six months to give model participants enough time to prepare for the major changes this new model will bring to their community,” an ACR statement read.

Additionally, CMS has not yet published data elements required for electronic health record and software developers to upgrade their offerings. Hospitals would need an entire year to implement an IT upgrade to incorporate these changes, according to the statement.

The final rule is set to be published publicly in November.