News Briefs

CMS is delaying the start of the Radiation Oncology Model from Jan. 1, 2021, to July 1, 2021. The move comes after CMS announced the launch date on Sept. 18, and multiple entities, including the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the Community Oncology Alliance, called for the start of the mandatory model to be pushed back in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said it intended to pursue rulemaking to implement the change. CMS proposed the program in July 2019 (84 Fed. Reg. 34478, July 18, 2019), and it initially proposed a start date in 2020 with an end date of Dec. 31, 2024. Participants will include physician group practices, hospital outpatient departments and freestanding radiation therapy centers for radiotherapy in selected Core Based Statistical Areas. The model will test whether changing from fee-for-service payments to prospective site-neutral, episode-based payments would save Medicare money and provide better care for beneficiaries. Episodes will cover 17 types of cancer and span 90 days. Visit https://bit.ly/2TDKoV9.

Availability and use of biosimilars are increasing, and the products are on track to reduce drug costs by $100 billion over the next five years, according to a study by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. The report, titled Biosimilars in the United States 2020-2024 and released Oct. 6, found that the oncology biosimilars — which have reference drugs of bevacizumab, trastuzumab and rituximab — are expected to reach almost 60% market share by the end of their second year on the market. By June 2020 — one year after launch — biosimilar bevacizumab had picked up 42% of volume share. Download the report at www.iqviainstitute.org.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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