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Volume 24, Number 2, 2019

The case for radiotherapy in a Value based environment

Peter A. S. Johnstone, Susan Peneguy, Timothy N. Showalter, James B. Yu


Aim Describe the Value proposition for radiotherapy (RT) in the United States. Background In the United States since 2005, two forces have worked to decrease RT cost per patient: Federal changes in reimbursement and hypofractionation of treatment courses. We theorize that these have driven stable reimbursement in the context of increasing technology of intensity modulation (IMRT) and image guidance (IGRT). This phenomenon provides increasing Value of the discipline to patients and systems. Materials and methods We searched the Medicare Physician/Supplier data for Program Payments per Person with Utilization for 2000 through 2016. This involves two databases: Enrollment Database (EDB) for 2000–2012 and Common Medicare Enrollment (CME) since 2013. RT payments to individual patients accessing services were retrieved. Results Taking into account the change of calculation algorithm used by CMS in 2013, costs per patient were similar in 2012 and 2003, and 2016 and 2013. Conclusions In the United States, stabilizing costs in the face of increasing work, better outcomes, and decreased toxicity contributes to increasing RT value over the past 10 years.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2019; 24(2) : 200-203

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