Study Examines Post Deficit Reduction Effects

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A new study concludes that in-office based imaging facilities fared better than hospital out-patient centers even after three years of steep cuts to in-office care under the Deficit Reduction Act.

Before the cuts took effect in 2007, medical imaging accounted for $13.8 billion in annual Medicare spending, representing an average 12.9% annual increase. In 2007, spending had declined by 12.9%, according to study authors from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

The DRA cut reimbursements for the technical component of in-office imaging services by 35% for MRI, 25% for MR angiography, 9% for CT, 37% for CT angiography, and 16% for nuclear medicine, according to the paper.

From 2007 to 2009, after the DRA, the study found CT grew more rapidly in offices, nuclear medicine volumes declined in both locations, but less so in offices. MRI volumes, however, did increase slightly more in hospitals.

For the full study click here.