The New Deal

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Beginning January 1, 2006, imaging centers and in-office providers of imaging will collect 25% less on the technical component for most MR/MRA, CT/CTA, and ultrasound studies conducted on contiguous body parts. Transvaginal and ultrasound of the breast were spared the contiguous-body-part discount, as were hospital-based imaging centers paid under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System. The HOPPS reprieve is likely to be short-lived, however, as CMS announced its intention to thoroughly investigate the potential cost efficiencies in the imaging of contiguous body parts in 2006. CMS will also investigate whether the originally proposed 50% reduction is in order. Further cuts could be in the cards, both for freestanding and hospital-based outpatient imaging centers. Click here to learn more about this issue: www.cms.hhs.gov/media/press/release.asp?Counter=1709 www.cms.hhs.gov/media/press/release.asp?Counter=1711 www.acr.org/s_acr/doc.asp?CID=2540&DID=22790