On July 16th Medicare released a proposal to change the way they will pay for radiation therapy services. Per Medicare, the intent of this proposal is to improve quality and reduce cost. Unfortunately, as it is currently proposed, it will have the exact opposite effect on proton therapy. Medicare defines its proposal as an experiment. We define it as a poorly designed experiment that unfairly targets proton therapy by reducing our payments by approximately 50%. Proton centers will face a very serious challenge in making ends meet under this new payment scheme. This experiment could very well result in a significant decrease in patient access to protons.
Since opening in 2006 we have faced many challenges but never one as draconian as this. In this issue of Precision we will provide a detailed explanation of Medicare’s proposal, and provide you with the tools necessary to help us fight this proposal. Never before have we asked for your assistance in fighting on our behalf and on behalf of all proton therapy providers. The time is now and we need your help!
Stuart L. Klein