CMS delays radiation oncology payment model till July

CMS confirmed its radiation oncology payment model will not start until July in the 2021 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment Final Rule.

The agency said it received feedback from several stakeholders in October about the challenges of preparing to implement the new radiation oncology payment model by Jan. 1 and would delay the start date to July through upcoming rulemaking. In a Dec. 2 final rule, CMS said the model would start July 1.

The payment model will test prospective, bundled payments to providers for 16 cancer types, aiming to improve care outcomes for radiotherapy patients while lowering Medicare costs. Under the model, payments would cover 90-day episodes of care.

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