Congress bucks MedPAC's proposed cuts

By staff writers

June 24, 2011 -- A bipartisan group of 61 members of Congress has signed and circulated a letter to the members' colleagues expressing concern over imaging cuts recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).

Led by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) of the House Small Business Committee, the communiqué warns that MedPAC's proposed reduction in multiple procedure payments "would set a dangerous precedent for Medicare reimbursement policy."

Earlier this month, MedPAC recommended a multiple procedure payment reduction to the professional component of successive diagnostic imaging services administered to the same patient, on the same day, in the same setting.

The congressional coalition asserted that these payment cuts are making it "extremely difficult for radiologists to keep their practices and freestanding imaging centers open for business and available to patients."

The "cost-cutting move may push many imaging providers, who have already endured massive cuts in recent years, over the edge regarding their ability to provide care in the communities they have served," said Dr. Harvey Neiman, CEO of the American College of Radiology (ACR), in support of the letter.

Copyright © 2011

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