The American College of Radiology (ACR) is asking imaging stakeholders attending this week’s Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago to urge members of Congress to support the Diagnostic Imaging Services Protection Act (H.R. 3269).
At its booth (#4623) on the exhibit floor, the society is offering delegates the use of dedicated iPads into which they can enter their zip code and click a button to either thank their congressman for backing the bill or tell him or her to “get on board” with it.
A bi-partisan group of more than 80 congressional leaders, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), have joined together to co-sponsor HR-3269, which would prevent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) for radiologists from taking effect in January. The latter is slated to impose a 25% payment reduction to the professional interpretation of advanced diagnostic imaging services for multiple imaging studies administered to the same patient, by physicians in the same practice setting, on the same day.
“This bad faith action by Medicare is medically unsupported and undercuts radiologists’ moral and professional obligation to expend an equal amount of time, effort, and skill on interpreting images, irrespective of whether or not previous examinations have been performed on the same day,” reads a statement that appears on the ACR’s Web site ( www.acr.org). “The MPPR would be the eighth Medicare reimbursement cut for the imaging community in just six years.”
Sponsored by Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), HR-3269 echoes Americans’ concerns about Medicare cuts to radiology, according to the ACR. Seventy percent of participants in a national poll of 1,000 registered voters conducted over a two-week period this past summer said they oppose any Medicare cuts to imaging services, while 90% believe imaging cuts will have a negative impact on early detection of medical conditions and diseases.