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October 31, 2013

International Day of Medical Physics
To raise awareness of our profession, the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) will celebrate this year, on November 7, the International Day of Medical Physics (IDMP). On that day in 1867, Marie Sklodowska-Curie, known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, was born in Poland. The theme of IDMP 2013 is ’Radiation Exposure from Medical Procedures: Ask the Medical Physicist!’ This is an excellent opportunity to promote the role of medical physicists in the worldwide medical scene. Visit the IDMP webpage.

AAPM Celebrates Twenty Years at ACPAAPM Celebrates Twenty Years at ACP
Twenty years ago, in October 1993, AIP headquarters was relocated from its long-time site on E. 45th Street in New York City to a brand-new office building in College Park, MD. The American Center for Physics was launched on a sunny and crisp fall day as the headquarters facility for AIP and three of its Member Societies - The American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Read more.

This Issue

AAPM/RSNA Imaging Physics Residency Grant
The Research Seed Funding Grant
AAPM Fellowship for the Training of a Doctoral Candidate in the Field of Medical Physics
Summer Undergraduate Fellowship Program
Diversity Recruitment through Education and Mentoring Program (DREAM)

CMS To Release 2014 Payment Rules By Late November

New and Revised Radiation Oncology Coding for 2014

Lawmakers Tell CMS To Drop Proposed Pay Cuts To Community Cancer Centers

FDA approves second brain imaging drug to help evaluate patients for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia

The RPoP website has been updated as follows:
A new page containing information and registration details for ISEMIR-IC
Report of IAEA Technical Meeting on Patient Radiation Exposure Tracking: Progress Assessment and Development of Further Actions, Vienna, 23-25 September 2013
All news
Upcoming Events
Latest literature

Latest Issue of Joint Commission Online - October 30, 2013

Horizons 2013: Connecting AAPM & PS-OCs: November 7 - 8, 2013; Bethesda, MD
RSNA Annual Meeting: December 1 - 6, 2013; Chicago, IL
• Spring Clinical Meeting: March 15 - 18, 2014; Denver, CO
Chapter Meetings
Endorsed/Sponsored Meetings

American Board of Radiology names Valerie P. Jackson, MD, as executive director
Guidance on Resumption of NIH Extramural Activities Following the Recent Lapse in Appropriations
Survey on Cesium and X-ray irradiators - Deadline Extended
An introduction to molecular imaging in radiation oncology: A report by the AAPM Working Group on Molecular Imaging in Radiation Oncology (WGMIR)
Website Editor Report, October 2013 This is a members only link.
Request for Proposals - Future AAPM Summer Schools


CMS To Release 2014 Payment Rules By Late November
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a delay in publishing 2014 Medicare final rules due to the government shutdown. The final hospital outpatient prospective payment system and ambulatory surgical center payment system rules are affected, as well as revisions to the physician fee schedule.

"Although we are still assessing the impact of the partial government shutdown on completion of the calendar year 2014 Medicare fee for service payment regulations, we intend to issue the final rules on or before November 27, 2013 to be effective on January 1, 2014," the agency posted on its website.

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New and Revised Radiation Oncology Coding for 2014
The American Medical Association recently published the list of new, revised and deleted procedure codes effective January 1, 2014. There is one new add-on code that applies to radiation oncology.

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Lawmakers Tell CMS To Drop Proposed Pay Cuts To Community Cancer Centers
A bipartisan group of 114 House lawmakers recently told the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to drop its proposal to pay the same rates for cancer care in physicians offices and hospital outpatient departments. CMS is proposing to cap payment to community cancer centers at 2013 hospital payment levels for therapeutic radiation oncology and diagnostic imaging beginning January 1, 2014.

CMS touts the proposal as pay parity, but the lawmakers, using an industry argument, say the proposal would increase disparity in pay. According to a letter to CMS, "Community cancer clinics would be paid 35% less than hospital rates for a representative mix of radiation therapy services."

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is circulating a similar letter among Senate Finance Committee members.

Community cancer centers are struggling to stay open, the lawmakers write, because Medicare doesn’t pay well enough. In the six years that the Community Oncology Alliance has been tracking the industry, 288 facilities closed and 469 practices merged with hospitals. Eight years ago, 87 percent of cancer care was provided at clinics, and by 2011 clinics accounted for just 67 percent of that care. The shift to hospitals sped the following two years.

The AAPM opposed the CMS proposal in written comments to the Agency in August stating that, "The proposed policy change is particularly damaging to CPT codes which have high direct practice costs."

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The AAPM E-News is a collection of news and information that affects the field of Medical Physics.