November 21, 2022
|The Honorable Nancy Pelosi||The Honorable Kevin McCarthy|
|United States House of Representatives||United States House of Representatives|
|1236 Longworth House Office Building||2468 Rayburn House Office Building|
|Washington, DC 20515||Washington, DC 20515|
|The Honorable Charles Schumer||The Honorable Mitch McConnell|
|Majority Leader||Minority Leader|
|United States Senate||United States Senate|
|322 Hart Senate Office Building||317 Russell Senate Office Building|
|Washington, DC 20510||Washington, DC 20510|
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, and Leader McCarthy:
On behalf of radiation oncology stakeholder organizations -- including radiation oncologists, medical physicists, medical dosimetrists, radiation oncology administrators and other members of the radiation oncology cancer care team, group practices, hospitals, device manufacturers and more -- we urge Congress to protect patients’ access to life-saving cancer care by passing legislation before year-end to prevent significant Medicare payment cuts to radiation therapy services.
On Nov. 1, 2022, Medicare finalized reductions to radiation oncology under the Medicare physician fee schedule (MPFS) for 2023, with radiation oncology facing 4% cuts, among the steepest of any specialty. The cuts stem from a decrease in the Medicare conversion factor, budget neutrality requirements from prior changes to evaluation and management services, and the second year of clinical labor price updates. In addition, radiation oncology also faces additional cuts due to PAYGO and the expiration of the moratorium on the sequester. These cuts add to significant prior cuts to radiation therapy cancer services under the MPFS exceeding 20% over the last 10 years. An analysis by the American Society for Radiation Oncology further reveals 5-year reductions in reimbursement for standard courses of radiation therapy for breast cancer (-18%), prostate cancer (-30%) and lung cancer (-34%).