The new CT program, designed to be completed entirely online, is being unveiled in time to meet a host of new accreditation requirements going into effect nationally. The requirements could be implemented in several states as well.
"Accreditation turnaround time is important, given the January 2012 Medicare deadline for accreditation of nonhospital imaging facilities, the high volume of applications, and that the Medicare mandate may eventually extend to hospitals," said ACR CEO Harvey Neiman, MD, in a statement on Monday.
Beginning in January 2012, all imaging providers who bill for PET, MRI, CT, and nuclear medicine under Part B of the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule must be accredited to receive technical component reimbursement from Medicare.
On the state level, California may also be poised to require accreditation of all CT providers, effective in 2013 -- should Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sign the bill the state Legislature recently sent to his desk. Private insurers and other states may eventually follow suit.
The ACR is recognized by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a national medical imaging accrediting body. Oakbrook Terrace, IL-based Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) of Ellicott City, MD, also provide accreditation.
The ACR's online process allows fast, easy accreditation of CT facilities, the society said, adding that the "transparent" fee structure and lack of upfront application fees also facilitate the accreditation process.
The ACR is urging practices to apply early to meet the January 1, 2012, deadline and avoid a late rush of providers seeking accreditation.
Calif. Legislature passes radiation protection bill, August 27, 2010
Calif. Senate passes radiation bill, June 2, 2010
FDA hearings rise above medical radiation rhetoric, March 31, 2010
CMS taps three for accreditation, January 29, 2010
ACR revises accreditation program, December 15, 2009
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