(Baton Rouge, La.) – Dr. Jonas Fontenot, chief operating officer, chief of physics at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, has been invited to serve a second term as member of the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC). Fontenot is the only representative from Louisiana serving on the committee.
The MEDCAC was established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide independent guidance and expert advice to CMS on specific clinical topics. The MEDCAC advises CMS on whether specific medical items and services are reasonable and necessary under Medicare law. The MEDCAC performs this task through careful review and discussion of specific clinical and scientific issues in an open and public forum. Ultimately, the MEDAC is used to supplement CMS’ internal expertise and to ensure an unbiased and contemporary consideration of innovative technology and science.
The MEDCAC relies on approximately 100 experts in clinical and administrative medicine, biologic and physical sciences, public health administration, patient advocacy, health care data and information management and analysis, health care economics, and medical ethics to serve on the MEDAC. The panel meets in a public forum approximately 4-8 times over the life of the committee to review medical evidence for the topic under deliberation, listen to public testimony and provide advice about the quality of the evidence.
“This is a win-win for our nation’s Medicare program and for seniors across our country who depend on this program for affordable access to healthcare,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Dr. Fontenot is a proven leader. He brings incredible knowledge and expertise to our team here at Mary Bird Perkins. We know that his depth of experience will continue to be of great value to the MEDCAC – especially as the committee considers cancer-specific services and treatment.”
Fontenot is board-certified in therapeutic medical physics and was the first medical physicist selected by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) to complete the Health Policy Fellowship program, which trains leaders in oncology-related health policy and payment reform issues. A leader of Mary Bird Perkins’ nationally acclaimed medical physics partnership with Louisiana State University, Fontenot also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Fontenot has served as Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s chief of physics since 2015 and as chief operating officer since 2017. Under his leadership, the Cancer Center has strengthened its reputation as the leading cancer care organization in the Gulf South through constant innovation and the incorporation of new, cutting-edge cancer treatment technology. He was most recently involved in the creation of Mary Bird Perkins’ new Adaptive MRI-Guided Radiation Therapy Program. With this technology, radiation oncologists at the Cancer Center will be able to visualize a tumor and adjust radiation dosage in real time – taking personalized cancer care to the next level.
To learn more about Dr. Fontenot and the incredible team at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, please visit marybird.org.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for more than 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at seven centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. Mary Bird Perkins has a strategic partnership with OneOncology and the largest radiation and medical oncology groups from across the area including exclusive partnerships with Southeastern Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group, which provides radiation therapy throughout Mary Bird Perkins’ service areas, Northshore Oncology Associates, serving St. Tammany and Washington Parishes, specifically the communities of Covington and Slidell and Louisiana Hematology Oncology Associates, which services the Greater Baton Rouge area. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.