Imaging groups urge U.S. Congress to reform Medicare system

By staff writers

February 28, 2022 -- The American College of Radiology along with other radiology and medical professional organizations are urging U.S. lawmakers to discuss making reforms to the Medicare physician payment system.

The organizations are asking legislators to collaborate with providers to initiate hearings, roundtables, and expert panels to discuss possibly reforming the payment system to ensure continued beneficiary access to care, according to a letter sent to legislators.

The following organizations signed the letter:

  • Society of Interventional Radiology
  • Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
  • Radiology Business Management Association
  • Association for Quality Imaging
  • American Society of Echocardiography
  • American Society of Neuroradiology
  • American College of Radiation Oncology
  • American Society for Radiation Oncology
  • American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Though the organizations recognized that U.S. Congress worked to mitigate scheduled cuts to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) over the last several years, they noted that systemic issues such as the negative effect of the schedule's budget neutrality requirements and the lack of an annual update to compensate for inflation will continue to generate significant instability for clinicians moving forward.

Furthermore, challenges associated with the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act's (MACRA) Quality Payment Program (QPP) have prevented most clinicians from participating in the program. For example, nonphysician clinicians are not fully integrated in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) due to their ineligibility to report cost and promote interoperability measures which account for 55% of MIPS scoring, they wrote.

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