Varian Medical Systems (VAR) also detracted from performance during the quarter. During the quarter, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed to reduce reimbursement rates for radiation therapy in freestanding clinics by more than what investors were expecting. The freestanding clinic market represents about 15% of Varian’s US Oncology revenues and about 5% of the Company’s total revenues. Interestingly, hospital radiation therapy reimbursement rates were proposed higher, despite its identical value proposition. We think that, similar to 2009, the ultimate rate cut will be much lower and clinics will have much more certainty about future reimbursement, which should boost the currently depressed demand for Varian Oncology products in the US.
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