Officials: Support policies for Medicare

Published by The Register Herald
Joseph M. Baisden, MD, PhD
August 21, 2014

My colleagues and I were honored to host Congressman Nick Rahall during his recent visit to 21st Century Oncology’s Center For Cancer Care in Fairlea.
We greatly appreciated the opportunity to highlight the importance of radiation therapy care in community practice.

During his visit, we discussed advances in cancer treatment and showcased the technologies used at our center, including the linear accelerator. We demonstrated for Congressman Rahall the intricate process of constructing the all-important concrete vault that houses the linear accelerator as well as our highly specific maintenance and quality assurance protocols.

Together our physicians, nurses, physicists, therapists, dosimetrists and support staff are able to provide high quality cancer care that keeps West Virginia patients within the supportive environment of their local communities.
Providing exceptional care for cancer patients in the community is our mission and our passion at 21st Century Oncology’s Center For Cancer Care.

Freestanding radiation therapy centers like ours offer patients access to advanced treatments for prostate, breast, lung and many other cancers, in a convenient and comfortable outpatient setting, close to home, thereby removing the burden of travel to distant hospitals for daily care.

To ensure access to community-based care, I urge lawmakers to develop and support policies that offer stable and predictable Medicare payment structure so that free-standing centers can continue to offer high-quality radiation oncology care. It is imperative that free-standing community cancer centers receive the necessary resources to support treatment costs, maintain adequate staffing levels, allow maintenance of superior equipment, and reward (not penalize) practices for updating relevant technologies that are beneficial to our cancer patients.

We thank Congressman Rahall for visiting the Center For Cancer Care and allowing us to advocate for the many patients whom we have the great honor of caring for each day.

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