Acknowledging and fixing the flawed capital cost data that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is using to justify proposed cuts in CT and MRI reimbursement is the responsibility of all radiology professionals writes Ezequiel Silva III, MD, in the latest issue of Radiology Business Journal.
Noting that the Deficit Reduction Act of 1997 (DRA) forever linked office and hospital payments, Silva writes that all stakeholders — radiologists, IT system administrators, hospital radiology-department directors, and finance officers — must work together on a new reclassification system that can better allocate capital costs related to imaging.
Silva is the director of interventional radiology and treasurer for South Texas Radiology Group in San Antonio, chair of the ACR practice-expense subcommittee, and an ACR RVS Update Committee advisor. He therefore has a strong understanding of the forces behind how many hospitals assign capital cost data.
Explaining to CMS why the current cost data is unsuitable for creating separate CT and MRI cost centers in the 2014 proposed Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) rule may be able to earn radiology a temporary reprieve, but the long term solution is to correct the problems with the capital cost data for advanced imaging equipment, he contends.