Imaging Utilization Down 2.5% in 2010, MedPAC says

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If physicians end up absorbing a 27.4% Medicare reimbursement cut next year, radiologists could be among those who are hurt the most.

That’s because medical imaging has already felt the wrath of reimbursement cuts for much of the past five years, writes The Hill’s Dave Fisher in an editorial last week.

“Medicare spending on medical imaging continues to decline, Medicare patients are receiving fewer imaging procedures and imaging is now a smaller portion of Medicare spending than it was at the turn of the century,” Fisher writes.

He points out that Congress has cut medical imaging seven times over the past six years. Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee reported that medical imaging use under Medicare declined 2.5% in 2010.For non-imaging services, use rose by 2 percent, according to the Medical Imaging and Technology Alliance.