Senate bill would halt multiple-scan payment cuts
Article Thumbnail ImageApril 27, 2012 -- U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation on April 25 that would halt a cut in Medicare reimbursement for multiple imaging studies performed on the same patient on the same day.
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The legislation, called the Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection Act (S 2347), is supported by the American College of Radiology (ACR). It would stop the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from implementing a 25% reduction to the professional component of diagnostic imaging services involving multiple imaging studies performed on the same patient on the same day in the same practice setting, ACR reported.

The proposed CMS cut arose from the assumption that efficiencies can be realized when radiologists interpret successive imaging studies during a single patient visit. However, a peer-reviewed expert panel found these efficiencies to be much less significant than CMS has assumed.

The bill would prevent any reductions until an expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine conducts a study of professional-component efficiencies.

The companion bill to S 2347 in the House of Representatives is HR 3269, introduced by Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Betty McCollum (D-MN), along with 234 co-sponsors.