The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) has expressed public disappointment in Congress’ decision to cut Medicare reimbursement for imaging and radiation therapy services as part of the fiscal cliff package, which was signed into law by the president late Wednesday. In addition, they are dismayed at Congress' failure to delay the medical device excise tax. According to MITA, the spending cuts and tax will hinder patient's access to early disease detection and threaten U.S. medical technology jobs.
Medicare payments for advanced imaging services will be reduced by $800 million and hospital reimbursement for radiation therapy will be cut by $300 million over the course of ten years. In addition to previous cuts made in 2012, the total amounts to more than $1 billion in cuts for imaging and radiation therapy services. On top of this, the makers of advanced imaging and radiation therapy equipment will see their profits impacted by the new medical device tax, which MITA says will take an estimated $30 billion out of the pockets of medical device manufacturers.
According to MITA, Congress’ refusal to address the 2.3 percent medical device tax as part of the fiscal cliff package will harm innovation in medical imaging technology and is estimated to cost up to 43,000 medical technology jobs in the U.S.
“When you add up all the Medicare cuts and Congress’ reluctance to address the $30 billion medical device tax, this legislation produces a devastating impact that harms patient access to care, moves manufacturing jobs overseas and threatens America’s leadership in medical research and development,” said Gail Rodriguez, MITA’s executive director in the statement.