Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Readers Respond

News Opinion Readers Respond

Medicare cuts could hinder cancer treatment

As a radiation oncologist here in Bel Air, I wanted to share an issue that could affect the cancer treatment of a great many of our friends and neighbors.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a change to the way free standing radiation oncology practices are reimbursed for their services. The end result is a $300 million cut to cancer care, which will have unfortunate consequences for patients who require radiation treatment. Most patients with cancer require radiation treatments in the course of their care.

Free standing radiation oncology practices like mine allow patients to receive beneficial, targeted radiation therapy in a comfortable, outpatient setting. Radiation therapy controls the spread of some cancers and is able to relieve pain and other symptoms. Patients can receive treatment and go home the same day — which most patients prefer over being admitted to the hospital.

The proposed funding reduction for radiation oncology is drastic (the highest percentage cut to any medical specialty) and will be widely felt. Practices like mine will have to make difficult decisions including having to lay off staff, refuse treating Medicare patients, and even closing practice doors altogether.

I have been treating cancer patients for 25 years, and at our two centers in Bel Air and Belcamp, we deliver over 8,200 treatments annually. I am committed to delivering the highest quality care to our community. For the sake of cancer patients locally and nationwide, I urge your readers to contact their members of Congress and ask them to intervene with CMS before this cut is enacted. Battling cancer is a difficult road as it is; we shouldn't make it any harder.

Dr. David Horvick, Bel Air

The writer is medical director of 21st Century Oncology.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • GOP Congress won't do much

    GOP Congress won't do much

    So now the Republicans have control of the Congress ("Republicans seize control of U.S. Senate," Nov. 5). Yeah! How much do Americans think is going to get done now? The next two years will be spent trying repeal the Affordable Care Act.

  • Health site has political overtones

    Health site has political overtones

    The Maryland Health Connection website is certainly much improved from its original debut, but why has it been politicized ("With Obamacare, health insurance leads to better health," Nov. 18)? The prominent heading on the exchange is "Change is here" echoing President Barack Obama's campaign promise...

  • Sun's stupidity is showing

    Sun's stupidity is showing

    You have published several articles recently in support of Obamacare but have chosen to ignore the news of how this hoax was enacted through deception, fraud, misrepresentation of material facts and outright lies ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14)!

  • Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?

    Why is The Sun ignoring Gruber?

    This past week several videos have surfaced showing one of the architects of Obamacare saying it only passed because the American people are stupid and were lied to ("Who are you calling stupid?" Nov. 14). According to Jonathan Gruber, our elected officials lied to us about keeping our doctors...

  • Dems' clout dims

    Dems' clout dims

    Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin should realize it's not about the bacon; they were elected to protect the residents of Maryland from federal overreach.

  • Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care

    Health exchange officials must work to improve the quality of care

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness applauds the Easter Seals' recent article encouraging lawmakers to improve health insurance plan benefits for millions of Americans ("Getting what you pay for in the ACA," Nov. 15).

Comments
Loading

64°