Surgical Oncology News

This section features a sampling of news related to surgical oncology from the popular press, from press releases received, or SSO news directly pertinent to SSO members.

Survey - Medicare Cuts to Cause 82 Percent of Cancer Clinics to Cut Staff

Author: PR Newswire
Dec 01, 2010

WASHINGTON - PRNewswire via COMTEX/ - The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) announced results of a national survey of oncology practices, in which 82% are likely to reduce or stop seeing Medicare patients and cut clinical or operational staff - including oncologists in 4 out of 10 practices - if Medicare cuts currently scheduled for January 1, 2011 go into effect. In addition, 67% of practices report they are likely to terminate private pay contracts tied to Medicare and 58% to close some of their facilities as a result of the planned cuts.

The survey is based on the responses of 426 community oncology practices, representing 2,353 oncologists. The survey was conducted October to November, 2010.

"The scheduled Medicare cuts would be an absolute disaster for cancer patients across the nation," said Ted Okon, executive director of COA.

"Clearly, short-term 'patches' - of which we had five during the past twelve months - are not working. Patients are concerned about their access to care, and physicians are concerned that participation in Medicare could become a financial impossibility. At the very least Congress needs to pass a 12-month patch to allow sufficient time to craft a permanent solution." Dr. David Eagle, president of COA, added, "Although the U.S. has the best cancer care delivery system in the world, the system is at high risk as Medicare has substantially cut payments for cancer drugs and essential services...

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