Do no harm

Published by Courier Post
Alexis Harvey
August 28, 2012

A central tenet in medicine is “first, do no harm.” As a radiation oncologist in South Jersey, this principle guides me in the care I provide to cancer patients each and every day.

Unfortunately, this guiding principle seems to not extend to decision-makers in Washington, D.C. In fact, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services recently proposed changes to funding for cancer care that will — most certainly — do a great deal of harm. If a proposed rule goes into effect, $300 million will be slashed from freestanding radiation oncology practices nationwide, which will mean facility closures, staff layoffs and refusal of care to Medicare beneficiaries.

Radiation therapy is critical to patients with certain types of cancer. Using state-of-the-art technologies, we are able to shrink cancers and help relieve pain and other troublesome symptoms. We do all of this on an outpatient basis — allowing patients the convenience and comfort of care without having to travel long distances to a hospital.

One in three Americans is affected by cancer at some point in their lifetime. For those who have faced it, are currently facing it, or will one day battle it, I implore you to contact your members of Congress and encourage them to step in. Cancer is a difficult road and we shouldn’t make it any harder by cutting important funding from patients.

ALEXIS HARVEY

Board-certified radiation oncologist

21st Century Oncology

Voorhees

See the original article here.