ACR lobbies against RBMs, utilization rate changes
Article Thumbnail ImageJune 26, 2009 -- Representatives of the American College of Radiology (ACR) participated in a June 24 briefing of the U.S. House of Representatives Rural Caucus to make their case against the use of radiology benefits managers (RBMs) in the Medicare system.
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In addition, the three doctors (Dr. Cassandra Foens of Covenant Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo, IA; Dr. James Borgstede of the University of Colorado; and Dr. Michael Graham, Ph.D., of the University of Iowa) spoke out against a proposed imaging equipment utilization rate change from 50% to 95%, according to the Reston, VA-based organization.

The doctors said that RBMs take decisions out of the hands of physicians and patients, can cause treatment delays, and form barriers to necessary imaging care for patients, according to the ACR. The panel also said that further imaging cuts would have a devastating effect on the ability of physicians in rural areas to continue providing imaging care to patients.

Also, a 90% to 95% utilization rate for CT and MRI would result in an additional reimbursement cut of more than 30% for these modalities, on top of an average 23% hit resulting from imaging provisions in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and more reductions called for in the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed Physician Fee Schedule Rule, the ACR said.

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