CMS Softens MPPR Pro Component Blow to Radiology

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Radiologists narrowly avoided becoming the first specialty to experience the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) to the professional component for the same patient on the same day performed by separate physicians within the same practice.

The discount would have reduced professional component payments by 25% for subsequent procedures performed on the same patient by any physician in the same practice. The American College of Radiology said in a written statement that CMS cited “operational limitations” in making its decision to postpone further cuts.

The 25% payment reduction to the professional component for imaging services performed by the same physician still remains however. Earlier this year, the ACR released a study showing the cost savings that efficiencies in physician work flow assumed through bundled payments were considerably less than policymakers believed.

Meanwhile, medical imaging growth in the Medicare program has slowed to less than 2% a year, according to a study of claims data by the Moran Company on behalf of the ACR. The college says there are fewer mammography facilities and less women getting screened because of nearly $5 billion Congress cut from radiology services since 2005.

For a related editorial on this issue click here.