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Published October 30, 2020

CMS Delays Start Date of Radiation Oncology Mandatory Bundled Payment Program

On October 21, 2020, based on feedback received from a number of stakeholders about the challenges of preparing to implement the Radiation Oncology (RO) Model by January 1, 2021, CMS announced it intends to delay the RO Model start date to July 1, 2021. However, selected RO Model participants should not delay preparing for this change.

As issued in a statement from the Chair of the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO) Board of Directors, “Requiring practices to participate and then forcing them to start the model on January 1, 2021, is untenable for practices already enduring staff shortages and other challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The transition to value-based payment will require significant practice changes and investments to comply with the model’s requirements.”

As a reminder, on September 18, 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) announced its new Radiation Oncology Model, the first mandatory bundled payment program since the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Program (CJR) started in 2016. The RO Model, originally slated to start January 1, 2021, is expected to continue for five years. Read PYA’s original insight, “PYA Map Helps Identify Participants in New Radiation Oncology Mandatory Bundled Payment Program,” for additional guidance.

If you would like to discuss what you should be doing now to prepare for the scheduled July 1, 2021, start date for the RO Model, contact a PYA executive below at (800) 270-9629.

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