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Medicare Cuts Will Force Many Cancer Centers To Close, Stop Seeing Medicare Patients, Lay Off Staff, According To ASTRO Survey
Date:7/27/2009

on to the bipartisan letter written by Reps. Lois Capps (Calif.), Parker Griffith, M.D. (Ala.), Sue Myrick (N.C.), and Mike Rogers (Mich.) urging CMS to reconsider. ASTRO praises the leadership of these representatives and more than 25 of their colleagues who've already committed to sign the letter.

"Radiation oncology is critical for the effective treatment of our nation's cancer patients. While we need to work together to cut healthcare costs, lumping in radiation therapy with diagnostic imaging doesn't serve our patients. We need to make sure that all cancer patients, including those who live in rural areas and depend on Medicare, have access to all the tools and resources they need to make a full recovery," said Rep. Capps.

"As a radiation oncologist who practiced in the community setting, I am aware of how these severe cuts would limit access to life-saving radiation therapy for cancer patients. I am proud to be working on healthcare reform to expand access to high quality, effective care for cancer patients and all Americans, and I look forward to working with both parties as well as the administration to find a solution that averts these cuts and protects patient access to care," said Rep. Griffith.

"Radiation therapy helped me survive breast cancer, as it has millions of other women. I believe CMS made a mistake by roping radiation therapy in with these diagnostic imaging changes. This doesn't make sense if we're trying to improve access to care. I'm honored to join my colleagues in protecting patient access to radiation therapy by asking Medicare to prevent these cuts," Rep. Myrick said.

"Radiation oncology helps many people survive and even thrive after cancer diagnoses. There is no possible explanation for forcing cancer centers to close, stop seeing Medicare patients, lay off staff or use outdated equipment; doing so will certainly not help cancer patients. As a cancer survivor
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SOURCE American Society for Radiation Oncology
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