On December 28th President Obama signed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act. The big headline grabber from this law has been the Meaningful Use Hardship Legislation, which expands eligibility for hardship exemptions for Stage 2.

Bigger news for Freestanding Radiation Oncology Centers is found when digging a little deeper into bill S.2425: Payment for treatment delivery and image guidance codes in 2017 and 2018 will remain at the same levels set for 2016.  

This law removes the looming threat of removing the vault as a direct expense when calculating reimbursement, as well as increases in equipment utilization rates, which would have lead to major reductions in payment.  Radiation Oncologist can rest easy knowing that reimbursement will remain steady, at least for a few years.  The Bill also sets 2019 as the target for a transition to an episodic alternative payment model.