Members of Congress voiced their concerns about significant cuts to Medicare reimbursement of medical imaging services in a letter to House leadership. The letter, led by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Gene Green (D-TX), has garnered praise from The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA). The bipartisan letter was signed by 17 Members of Congress, and calls for policies that promote patient access to medical imaging technology and job growth in the industry.
“We certainly can find ways to control costs in Medicare without restricting seniors’ access to the high-quality care they need, jeopardizing manufacturing jobs and discouraging potentially life-saving innovation,” said Rep. Jim Gerlach, according to the MITA press release. “Further cuts to medical imaging may actually lead to higher healthcare costs down the road as illnesses go undiagnosed longer and treatments start later.”
According to the letter, recent data shows that imaging is the slowest growing category in Medicare fee-for-service program. Since 2006, per beneficiary spending on imaging services has declined by 16.7% and advanced imaging services declined by 27.6%. In contrast, non-imaging services experienced 21.3% growth in spending over the same time period. Imaging utilization has decreased in the last two years, with a total decline of 5.1% since 2009.
“MITA applauds Congressmen Gerlach and Green and their colleagues for recognizing the importance of making budget decisions based on the latest available data, and we thank them for their continued support in the fight to protect and preserve access to medical imaging services for Medicare beneficiaries,” said Gail Rodriguez, Executive Director of MITA, in the press release.