FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JJ Vitale firstname.lastname@example.org 904.635.5035
December 8, 2022: The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) applauds the House of Representatives for approving the Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act to prevent Medicare cuts to health care providers, including a one-year delay of the Radiation Oncology Alternative Payment Model (RO Model). If approved by the Senate and signed into law, this legislation would prevent disproportionate cuts that could imperil patient access to innovative modalities like proton therapy.
Cancer care providers have risen to the challenges to care for patients effectively and safely by maintaining staff, implementing policies to protect vulnerable patients, and managing current and future cancer patients whose care may have been delayed or interrupted because of this pandemic.
The substantial cuts in reimbursement purposed in the RO Model would have put financial pressure on institutions already burdened by the impact of the ongoing pandemic, straining their ability to adequately care for complex cancer patients and participate in cutting-edge clinical research. NAPT has worked with Congressional leaders to delay the RO Model until changes are made that protect innovative treatment. In a letter sent to President Biden in November, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress asked President Biden to delay the January 1, 2022, implementation date “given the model’s complexity, coupled with the continuing challenges of the pandemic.”
“A payment model that dramatically changes the delivery of cancer treatment should be carefully designed with support from all stakeholders, especially the providers delivering this specialized care,” said Jennifer Maggiore, Executive Director of NAPT. “This payment model, as finalized, will constrain innovation, inhibit access to cutting-edge cancer therapies, such as proton therapy, and amplify inequities in access to advanced cancer treatments. Ensuring quality cancer care for patients and addressing health equities highlighted by this pandemic would be jeopardized if the RO Model is implemented hastily.”
Members of the proton community including 40 member centers of NAPT and thousands of patients whose lives have been touched by this innovative cancer care urge the Senate to support Medicare beneficiaries and approve this legislation in the coming days. Delaying the RO Model will alleviate immediate burdens on providers during the ongoing Public Health Emergency, preserve access for patients, and provide time for development of a Model that maintains support for innovative modalities like proton therapy.
The National Association for Proton Therapy (NAPT) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1990 to educate and increase awareness about the clinical benefits of proton therapy. Its members include 40 of the nation’s leading cancer centers many of whom are NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and NCCN members. The mission of NAPT is to work collaboratively to raise public awareness of the clinical benefits of proton therapy, ensure patients’ choice and access to affordable proton therapy, and encourage cooperative research and innovation to advance the appropriate and cost-effective utilization of proton therapy