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Marion, NC – Today, Representative Mark Meadows (R-11-NC) toured Radiation Therapy Associates of Western North Carolina, a local free-standing radiation therapy center offering the latest cancer technologies and therapies, to meet with cancer care specialists to learn more about radiation therapy offerings in the area. Members of the Marion area’s cancer care community discussed the key role community-based radiation therapy centers have in helping win the war on cancer, as well as the importance of a logical, predictable Medicare reimbursement policy to ensure continued access to state-of-the-art, quality cancer care in the community setting.
"I enjoyed meeting with the dedicated physicians and staff who are providing high-quality service and care to patients at Radiation Therapy Associates of Western North Carolina," Rep. Meadows said. "Understanding the issues affecting patients' access to treatment and the role this facility plays in delivering care to our constituents is critical as Congress continues working on effective health-care solutions."
“We applaud Representative Meadows’s commitment to serving our area’s residents and are honored to welcome him to our facility today to meet with our patients and dedicated care giving staff,” said Dr. Brian Quaranta, Radiation Oncologist. “We are proud to demonstrate the quality care we provide and thank Representative Meadows for his efforts to ensure that Marion-area and all western North Carolina patients are able to continue receiving quality, state-of-the-art cancer care right here in our community.”
In addition to showcasing the latest techniques and innovations in radiation therapy, the facility’s physicians and staff expressed the need for stable, predictable payments in order to ensure that cancer patients can access the full care and medicines recommended by their doctors. Nationwide, physicians who provide care to Medicare patients are feeling the impact of significant reimbursement cuts for their services. Members of the local cancer care community warn that deep additional cuts to radiation therapy services threaten patients’ access to life-saving cancer care. Furthermore, payment reductions could potentially lead to forced facility closures and limited patient access to cutting-edge technologies, which could then result in worsened health outcomes.
Radiation therapy has saved thousands of lives across our country and is helping Americans win the war on cancer as one of the three most commonly used cancer treatments, along with surgery and chemotherapy. Today, approximately 50 to 60 percent of cancer patients are treated with radiation at some time during their course of care, and this critical therapy, applied through the latest advanced technology, is greatly improving patient outcomes.
Further, freestanding cancer centers are often located in underserved and critical access areas, providing patients with a point of care close to home that allows them to remain active in their communities and even keep working as they undergo treatment.
Radiation Therapy Associates of Western North Carolina provides care to patients diagnosed with prostate, breast and lung cancers and other life-threatening diseases. The center offers patients a variety of non-invasive radiation therapy services, with minimal side effects.